The idea of establishing an association for political science students was born in 1996 in Rome (Italy), when SPIL (the Society for Political Science Students in Leiden, the Netherlands) visited its local counterparts in Rome.
One Association for all Political Science Students Worldwide
Most academic disciplines already had student networks, but for students of political science there was none. By registering its first statutes, IAPSS was formally established in Leiden on October 31, 1998. IAPSS was meant as an umbrella uniting local political science associations and students by granting them access to a constant information flow of current matters in the field of political sciences. Furthermore, IAPSS should provide a platform for the exchange of ideas and for help on studies and research. Since IAPSS’ centre of gravity was Europe, for the first three years of its existence, it managed to unify 17 association members in Europe. During those years it was lead in succession by the local students associations from Leiden (the Netherlands), Oslo (Norway), Debrecen (Hungary), and Rome (Italy) in 2001.
Expanding Beyond Europe in 2001
One crucial turning point occurred in 2001, when together with seven additional European associations three associations from the African continent joined. IAPSS turned into the direction of becoming a worldwide network. Just one year after this first transcontinental enlargement, the first local political science student associations from North and South America as well as Asia became member of IAPSS.
A First Permanent Headquarters in Slovenia
Probably the most important turning point in the history of IAPSS had its beginnings in the year 2003, with local association member POLITUSS Ljubljana managing the fate of IAPSS. At the legendary General Assembly – the highest decision making body of IAPSS – in Ljubljana (Slovenia), the delegates decided for an important step, leading the Association from a loose network to a more stable and predictable organization by establishing a permanent seat and secretariat at the University of Ljubljana.
While the association was led by a joint Executive Committee consisting of local member associations from Marburg (Germany) and Cluj-Napoca (Romania) during 2004, the work on the implementation of the permanent seat and secretariat began in order to be functional at the start of the Executive Committee mandate 2004/2005.
2013: Back to the Netherlands
At the General Assembly in Bremen (Germany), the delegates the association agreed that the IAPSS Headquarters should relocated to Nijmegen (the Netherlands) by 2013. This resolution was carried out by the 16th IAPSS General Assembly in Rome (Italy), in March 2013. The head office was moved to the Netherlands again, near to the city where it once has been founded. Nowadays, IAPSS’ operational base is embedded at one of Europe’s leading universities in political science: Radboud University Nijmegen.