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IUAES vote on a formalised collaboration with the WCAA

Over the past three years since the 17th World Congress in Manchester in 2013, the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES) and the World Council of Anthropological Associations (WCAA) have been discussing how to consolidate the relationship between the two organizations in order to best serve the global anthropological community. A Joint Task Team was formed after the 2014 Inter-Congress in Chiba, and it developed into a team of ten members, comprising five members each from the IUAES Executive Committee and the WCAA Organizing Committee. Leading up to the 2016 Inter-Congress in Dubrovnik, after two years of intense discussions, the Joint Task Team drew up two proposals to be considered by all IUAES and WCAA members.

The two proposals along with a letter that IUAES President Faye V. Harrison and WCAA Chair Vesna Vucinic Neskovic co-authored were sent to all IUAES members by IUAES Secretary-General Junji Koizumi on April 19, 2016.

A series of meetings were held at the 2016 IUAES Inter-Congress in Dubrovnik, including the meetings of the IUAES Executive Committee on May 4, 6 and 8; the IUAES Council of Commissions meeting on May 6; the Council of Commissions and Executive Committee meeting on May 8; the IUAES General Assembly on May 7; a Special Session on Strategic Alliance between IUAES and WCAA on May 7; and the joint meetings of the IUAES Executive Committee and the WCAA Organizing Committee on May 4 and 8. As a result of intensive discussion at these meetings, which involved open exchange and consultation with IUAES members and IUAES Commissions, the IUAES Executive Committee decided to conduct an electronic vote by all IUAES members on how to formalise collaboration between IUAES and WCAA.

The ballot will be open for three months starting on June 15 and ending on September 15. Only fully paid up members in good standing have the right to vote on the following options:

1. Should IUAES and WCAA have a formalised collaboration (YES or NO)?

2. If YES, should it be:

Alliance icon A Strategic Alliance between IUAES and WCAA, or
Bicameral icon An Integrated Bicameral Organisation, with autonomous IUAES and WCAA Chambers?

You are first asked to vote in response to 1) above. Only if you vote YES, will you need to answer question 2) as well, choosing from two options: “A Strategic Alliance by MoA“ or “An Integrated Bicameral Organization by MoU”.

“A Strategic Alliance between IUAES and WCAA” is described in the proposal for the MoA, Memorandum of Agreement for Consolidating the Strategic Alliance between the WCAA and the IUAES. (PDF)

“An Integrated Bicameral Organisation with IUAES and WCAA Chambers” is detailed in the proposal for the MoU, Memorandum of Understanding for a Bicameral Organisation with IUAES and WCAA Chambers. (PDF)

The MoA provides for a permanent IUAES/WCAA joint liaison committee, a single website but with separate sections for each organization, joint meetings, and other cooperative activities such as have been organised so far. This proposal basically is for acknowledging the present state of collaboration between IUAES and WCAA and consolidating it into a formal memorandum.
The MoU provides for the creation of an integrated, bicameral umbrella organization with a new constitution, comprising distinct IUAES and WCAA chambers which are coordinated by a joint Steering Committee. The MoU is for taking an initial step to have a single global organization called World Anthropological Union [WAU]. (PDF) (Please note that the name of the new organization was changed, as a result of discussion in Dubrovnik, from “World Anthropologies Organization [WAO]” to “World anthropological Union [WAU]”).

An identical vote will be conducted both by IUAES and WCAA members. In case the YES vote does not reach a two-third majority in the ballot either by IUAES or WCAA members, nothing will be decided by this electronic vote. Only if the YES vote attains a two-third majority will the MoA or the MoU be adopted, by a single majority.

Please read all the documents carefully to learn more about the implications of the two options, and make sure to take part in this important process for the future of global anthropology. We hope that all IUAES members will participate.


Faye V. Harrison
IUAES President on behalf of the IUAES Executive Committee