The Group Constitution

NAME

The Group shall be called the UK Political Studies Association Conservatives and Conservatism Specialist Group.

OBJECTIVES

The objectives of the group are:
1. To bring together and create a stronger sense of identity and common purpose among those political scientists, political theorists, historians and other scholars who currently study the ideas and practices of conservatism, and to encourage those who may want to do so in the future. 2. To organise specialist group panels at the PSA Annual Conference.

3. To encourage and facilitate the creation and dissemination of high quality research on all aspects of conservatism (theoretical and empirical) through a web presence and by specialist conferences and workshops.

4. To encourage a comparative as well as a British dimension to the study of conservative politics and conservatism.

MEMBERSHIP

Membership shall be open to all members of the UK Political Studies Association (PSA) and others with an active research and/or teaching interest in conservative politics, broadly defined. Membership of the Group will normally be open by right to full members of the PSA. Specialist group membership for non-PSA members will be at the discretion of the Convenor(s).

OFFICERS

The group shall have a minimum of two and a maximum of five Officers. At least one Officer will be elected as Convenor of the group, although the role of Convenor can also be held jointly.

The Convenor(s) and other Officers will hold office for three years and shall be elected by a vote among the members of the group, conducted either at the group’s AGM or by electronic means (for example via e-mail). To ensure impartiality in the event of an electronic ballot, an individual not standing for election (for example a retiring Officer) must be appointed to act as a returning officer for the election.

The roles and titles of the other Officers of the Group will be determined by the Convenor(s) in consultation with the other elected Officer(s). Such roles might include Publicity Officer, Events Officer, Treasurer, or Secretary.

The Convenor(s) and other Officers of the Group shall be eligible for re-election.

All Officers of the Group must be full paid up members of the PSA.

Officers of the Group will at all times act with integrity, and in accordance with the rules and objectives of the PSA.

RECORDS

Records shall be kept by the Convenor(s) and/or other delegated Officer(s) of the Group. These records will include minutes of any meetings and the annual report. A current membership list shall be maintained. An annual report will be compiled by the Convenor(s) and submitted to the PSA each year. The annual report will be made available to any member of the PSA that requests it.

VACATION OF OFFICE

The Convenor(s) and other Officer(s) of the Group shall vacate his or her office upon resignation; upon the instruction of the PSA Executive Committee, as agreed and recorded at a meeting of that Committee; or upon dismissal by resolution of a general meeting of the Group.

MEETINGS

The Group shall normally hold at least one annual meeting. Meetings can be held, at the discretion of the Convenor(s), using telephony or other electronic media instead of an actual gathering. The annual general meeting shall be held during the PSA annual conference each year or at another time, at the discretion of the Convenor(s). At least two weeks’ notice of an annual general meeting shall be given. Other general meetings shall be called at the discretion of the Convenor(s) or at the written request of no fewer than six members of the Group. Notice of at least seven clear days shall be given.

FINANCE

Applications by the Group to the PSA and/or to other organisations for grants of money shall be made at the discretion of the Convenor(s).

The Convenor(s) and Officer(s) of the Group are responsible for ensuring that the financial resources of the Group are used to further its objectives, as laid out in this constitution. Appropriate uses may include, but are not limited to, the organisation of conferences, workshops, lectures or other symposia (including costs related to travel, accommodation, subsistence, hospitality etc); grants for PhD students, Early Career Researchers, or other scholars who may be financially disadvantaged to enable their participation at such events or at the PSA Annual Conference; publicity costs related to Group activities; website maintenance; the award of an annual prize.

The Convenor(s) of the group must keep accurate financial records, and as part of the annual report to the PSA will account for the Group’s expenditure.

On vacating office, the Convenor(s) of the Group shall hand over the records to his or her duly elected successor.

Only PSA members are eligible to receive funding from the Group for any activity. If a conference or other event is organised for which a fee is charged, normally non-PSA members will be charged a higher fee.

PRIZES

The Group will normally award a prize or prizes totalling a value of up to £100 for the best publication(s) on conservatism/conservative politics in the previous year.  The prize will be judged by the Convenor(s), or they may delegate the task to suitably qualified members of the Group. The judging panel will consist of at least two people. No Officers of the Group, and no members of the judging panel, will be eligible for a prize. In the event that the prize winner is not a paid-up member of the PSA, the cash prize will not be paid (in accordance with the principle that only PSA members are eligible to receive funding from the group).

WEBSITE

The Group shall maintain a website to publicise its activities and disseminate relevant information to members.

PSA CONSTITUTION

The Group shall be governed by the appropriate clauses of the PSA constitution with regard to any matter not covered by this constitution.

AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION

This constitution may be amended or altered only by a resolution supported by two-thirds of the members present and voting at a general meeting, provided that no alteration shall contravene any part of the PSA’s Constitution.   This constitution shall be made available to all members of the Group on request, and posted on the Group’s website.

Download a printable PDF of the Group Constitution

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