Section on Political Economy of The World-System By-Laws

Revised August 1996, August 1997, June 2002, July 2008, June 2015, June 2017, June 2019

The Section on Political Economy of the World-System (PEWS) brings together scholars committed to the critical study of the capitalist world-economy and other historical social systems. The PEWS Section seeks to foster an intellectual tradition that finds its roots in the anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist analyses forged during struggles for decolonization by scholars in the Global South. With a focus on world-systemic dynamics, PEWS members are united by the use of political economy as an analytical frame, while exploring the intersection of political economic change with race, gender, class, imperialism, neo-colonialism, and the environment. This Section maintains PEWS’ legacy as a radical critique of disciplinary boundaries and thus embraces diverse disciplinary, epistemological, theoretical, and methodological approaches. We seek to provide a forum for intellectual exchange and debate among kindred sociologists, scholars, activist-practitioners, and teachers in both the Global North and the Global South. We welcome members with wide-ranging substantive interests in world historical perspectives and are strongly committed to promoting a diverse membership.

Officers of the Section. The officers of the Section shall be a Chairperson, a Chairperson-Elect, a Past-Chairperson, and a Secretary-Treasurer. Voting members of the association alone shall be eligible to hold office. The Chairperson-Elect will automatically become Chairperson in the year following his/her year in office as Chairperson-Elect, and in the year subsequent to that become Past-Chairperson. The Secretary-Treasurer shall be elected for a period of three years.

There shall be a Council consisting of eight members, six regular members and two student members. The regular members will serve staggered three-year terms, with two Council seats being vacated each year. The student members will serve staggered two-year terms.

Officers shall not succeed themselves. The Chairperson, Chairperson-Elect, Past-Chairperson, and Secretary-Treasurer shall also serve as members of the Council with the Chairperson of the Section serving as Chairperson of the Council.

If an elected office is vacated before the term is completed, the candidate with the next highest vote count is invited to fill the open position for the remainder of the term..

The Chairperson, in consultation with the Chairperson-Elect, Past-Chairperson, and membership at large, will be responsible for determining the academic program of the section. The outgoing Chairperson will also be responsible for proposing additional sessions related to the following year’s overall conference theme and for proposing additional sessions related to world-systems research in response to the general ASA Call for Papers. The Secretary-Treasurer will be responsible for keeping section records (including the website) up to date, drafting an annual budget for the section, and tracking and promoting section membership.

Powers of the Council. The Council is vested in principle with the power to carry out all necessary operations for the Section, acting as the representative of the membership of the Section. To that end, it shall meet on the occasion of the ASA Annual Meeting and may meet at other times when more than half of the Council can be assembled, whether in person or through electronic means. The Council shall make decisions by majority rule of its assembled members.

Elections and Voting. The elections of the Section shall be carried out in cooperation with the American Sociological Association and coordinated to their schedule. Newly elected officers and Council members shall assume office at the end of the Business Meeting of the Section at the American Sociological Association’s Annual Meeting.

Committees.

(a) There shall be a Nominations Committee, the composition of which shall be the Past-Chairperson of the Section and at least two volunteers from the membership. No member shall serve on the nominating committee for two consecutive years, and the Past-Chairperson of the Section will be the chair of the committee. The Nominations Committee shall present at least two people for each office to be voted on by the voting members of the Section.

(b) There shall be an annual Book Award Committee, the composition of which shall be Chairperson-Elect, one member of Council in their first year of service, and one volunteer from the membership, which may be the past award winner. The Chairperson-Elect shall be chair of the committee. The award shall be for the best book or books published with copyright date falling in the two calendar years prior to the year of the award. Authors are invited to self-nominate for the award. Authors and nominators must be members of the section at the time of nomination.

(c) There shall be an annual Article Award Committee, the composition of which shall be the PEWS Chairperson (who will serve as chair of the committee), the student representative in their second year of service, and one volunteer from the membership, which may be the past award winner. Article awards will be offered for both the best professional paper and the best student paper published (including publication in ASA meeting proceeding) with copyright date falling in the two calendar years prior to the year of the award. Authors are invited to self-nominate for the awards. Authors and nominators must be members of the section at the time of nomination.

(d) There shall be an annual Teaching and Mentoring Committee, the composition of which shall be one member of Council in their second year of service (who will serve as chair of the committee), the student representative in their first year of service, and one volunteer from the membership, which may be the past award winner. Each year, the Committee will organize the mentoring program at the annual meetings of the ASA. The Committee will pursue strategic teaching and mentoring initiatives as identified by the Committee in consultation with the PEWS Chairperson and Council. This may include creating or updating resources on the website such as lists of syllabi, other teaching resources, relevant journals, and grants/fellowships. The Committee will offer a Distinguished Teaching Award biennially in even years. Members are invited to self-nominate for the award. Nominees must be members of the section at the time of nomination.

(e) There shall be a Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the composition of which shall be one member of Council in their second year of service, one member of Council in their first year of service, and one volunteer from the membership, which may be the past award winner. The Committee will collect demographic data on the composition of the section membership, the Council, and committees, as well as other relevant data, and provide a report to the Council and the membership annually. The Committee will pursue strategic initiatives, in consultation with the PEWS Chairperson and the Council, to pursue the goals of equity, diversity, and inclusion within the section. The Committee will offer an Award for Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion biennially in odd years. Members are invited to self-nominate for the awards. Nominees must be members of the section at the time of nomination.

(f) There shall be a Publications Committee to oversee the publication of the Journal of World-Systems Research, the section newsletter, and the section website, and to maintain the social media presence of the section. The Publications Committee will consist of up to eight members which will include the current editor of the JWSR, the section newsletter editor(s), the section webmaster, two third-year Council members, and up to two volunteers from the membership, which should include past JWSR editors when possible. Each year following the annual ASA meeting, the committee will elect its chair from its members and announce that election to the section via the section listserv. The editor of the JWSR shall be appointed to a five-year term by the Council on the recommendation of the Publications Committee. The current editor of the JWSR shall serve as a non-voting, Ex-Officio member of the section Council. The newsletter editor(s) and the webmaster shall be appointed to three-year terms by the Council on the recommendation of the Publications Committee, and they may be reappointed to a second term by the Council.

(g) There shall be a Membership Committee to track and promote Section membership. The Membership Committee shall be composed of the Secretary-Treasurer, who will chair the committee, and two volunteers from the membership, which should include the Outreach Editor of the JWSR when possible.

Other committees shall be appointed by the Chairperson with the approval of the Council, on an ad hoc basis.

Continuity and Accountability. The chair of each committee will produce or update a set of guidelines detailing the committee's tasks and the schedule for performing them. In addition, each committee chair will provide an annual written report of the accomplishments and/or difficulties within, and recommendations for, their committee. Electronic copies of the guidelines (or its annual additions/edits) and reports should be submitted by July 1 to the entire Council. The Section Chair and Secretary-Treasurer will keep an updated electronic record of all Section tasks via these guidelines and annual reports. The PEWS Chairperson will analyze these reports and prepare recommendations for discussion at the Council meeting at the ASA annual meetings. Following the ASA annual meetings each year, the new PEWS Chairperson is responsible for sending each committee chair the guidelines for their assigned tasks in the upcoming year.

Nomination by Petition. Qualified members of the Section may be nominated for any office by a petition of ten percent of the members of the Section or by 25 members of the Section, whichever is less. The choices of the Nominating Committee for each office shall be made known to the membership at least 60 days prior to the deadline for receiving nominations by petition.

Referenda. Any proposal, including changes of the By-Laws, may be referred to an electronic ballot of Section members by means of a petition containing the signatures of ten percent of the Section members or of 25 members of the Section, whichever is less. Any resolution passed by the Annual Business Meeting of the Section shall be referred to Council. If such resolutions are not accepted by the Council, they shall be submitted to the membership by electronic ballot.

Membership. The membership of the Section shall be drawn from the members of the American Sociological Association who have expressed an interest in the political economy of the world-system.

Dues. Dues shall be set by the Council in accord with the requirements of the American Sociological Association. Dues shall consist of two parts: one to support the operation of the section and the other to support the operation of the Journal of World-Systems Research.

Awards. In accordance with the Association’s regulations on sections, six types of awards will be given. The awards are: The PEWS Distinguished Book Award [Annual], The PEWS Distinguished Article Award [Annual], The PEWS Terence K. Hopkins Student Paper Award [Annual], The PEWS Distinguished Teaching Award [Biennial, even years], The PEWS Award for Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion [Biennial, odd years] and The PEWS Distinguished Career Award [occasional]. The PEWS Distinguished Career Award must be approved by the PEWS Council and ratified by the membership at the annual business meeting. The Chairperson of the Section is responsible for ensuring that the total number of section awards made is in compliance with ASA guidelines.

Anti-Harassment Policy. The Section is committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment for all members during their interactions at conferences and in online exchanges. These interactions should be free from any type of harassment including, but not limited to, harassment based on age, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, language, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, disability, health conditions, socioeconomic status, marital status, domestic status, or parental status. We encourage our members to follow the norms of professional respect that are necessary to promote the conditions for free academic interchange as defined by the American Sociological Association Code of Ethics.