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The International Association for Political Science Students (IAPSS) is a platform for political science students and students interested in political science issues. The association is international, politically independent, non-profit, and student-run.

IAPSS helps political science students to develop intellectually and professionally through a variety of events and projects. IAPSS conferences like World Congress and Academic Convention are a venue for students from all over the world to exchange their knowledge and network; the Winter School and aSummer School serve as intensive seminars, while Study Trips grant first-hand insight into the life of political institutions. IAPSS members also run academic and opinion publications (POLITIKON – the IAPSS Journal of Political Science, Encuentro Latinoamericano – Revista de Ciencia Política, A Different View – the IAPSS online blog).


One Association for all Political Science Students Worldwide

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. 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. It was envisioned for IAPSS to be 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 unified 17 association members in Europe. During those years it was led in succession by the local students associations from Leiden (the Netherlands), Oslo (Norway), Debrecen (Hungary), and Rome (Italy) in 2001.

Expanding Beyond Europe

A crucial turning point occurred in 2001 when IAPSS underwent a significant transformation as three African associations, in addition to seven European associations, joined the the organization. This marked a pivotal moment, propelling IAPSS towards its evolution into a global network. Within just a year of this initial transcontinental expansion, the first local political science student associations from North and South America, as well as Asia, became proud members of IAPSS.

First Permanent Headquarters in Slovenia

In 2003, at the General Assembly – the highest decision-making body of IAPSS – in Ljubljana (Slovenia), the delegates decided on 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. The move to Slovenia has been completed at the start of the 2004/2005 mandate.

Back to the Netherlands

At the General Assembly in Bremen (Germany), the delegates the association agreed that the IAPSS Headquarters should be 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. For 8 years, IAPSS’ operational base has been embedded at one of Europe’s leading universities in political science: Radboud University Nijmegen.

Moving across the Atlantic

The 2020-2021 mandate marked one of the most difficult periods in IAPSS’ history, with the global pandemic making in-person events infeasible. As these events have long been a key source of IAPSS’ revenue, the organization has striven to adapt to the new reality by developing the capacity to organizing its conferences in online formats. Recognizing the needs of the remote working and internationally-based Executive Committee, the General Assembly voted in favor of the relocation of IAPSS to Canada. The new location provides the organization the opportunities to seamlessly access online government and banking services, allowing IAPSS to focus on its programs and long-term success in the post-Covid world. With the help of the International Political Science Association and Concordia University, IAPSS has established its permanent Secretariat in Montreal, Quebec.

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