Constitution of the Association for Heterodox Economics

Principles of Unity

  1. The Association for Heterodox Economics (AHE) is an international learned, non-profit society which originated in Britain. It is based, financially and administratively, in the United Kingdom. As an association we  believe that institutions of the discipline of economics systematically discriminate against those economists working in non-mainstream modes: specifically those writing from a heterodox viewpoint or operating in minority areas. The Association is opposed to this hegemony of neoclassical mainstream economics. It is committed to promote pluralism in all fields of economic research, teaching and practice, as the alternative to the domination of a single school of thought.
  2. The AHE aims to promote open and tolerant debate in economics through pluralism in theory, method, and ideology, and to promote heterodox economists and perspectives in the academic, governmental and private spheres of the discipline of economics.
  3. In order to achieve our aims, the activities of the Association include, but are not limited to:
    1. The advancement and dissemination of heterodox economics.
    2. Holding an annual conference.
    3. Working to overcome, discriminatory mechanisms which obstruct academic freedom and the pluralistic development of economics, with special reference to government inquiries, the Economic and Social Research Council, the Higher Education Funding Councils, research assessment exercises such as the Research Evaluation Framework, the Royal Economic Society, Scottish Economic Society, and non-government funding foundations, whenever these frustrate the free expression and development of dissenting scholarship.
    4. It will draw public attention to all such discriminatory mechanisms using learned outlets, public meetings, the press, and the media.
    5. The AHE will work with other national and international bodies with similar aims to support heterodoxy and pluralism worldwide. In the North of Ireland it will actively seek collaboration with the relevant Irish organisations in accordance with the Good Friday principles of joint governance, freedom of choice, and non-discrimination in all spheres of public life.
    6. Supporting all heterodox economists whose careers and academic freedom are threatened or suppressed by such discriminatory mechanisms.
    7. Organising and supporting other academic events furthering the aims of the Association.
    8. The exchange of the broad spectrum of economic ideas within and outside of the economics profession.
    9. The training and support of  emerging academics and practitioners.
    10. Support and work with organisations in other countries, and with international associations of economists, whose aims are commensurate with those of the Association.
  4. In order to carry out activities determined by the Association to be appropriate to our goals, the association has the abilities:
    1. To undertake fund-raising to be used for furthering its aims.
    2. To hire property of any kind determined as necessary to the functioning of the Association.
    3. To deposit funds in any lawful manner.
    4. To take out any insurance necessary and/or required to protect the income and property of the Association.
    5. To co-operate with other bodies, specifically those sharing the aims of the Association, and to support them where appropriate.
    6. To act as a representational body and to lobby relevant parties on matters of relevance to the Association.
  5. Membership of the organisation is open to any individual who is in agreement with the aims of the Association. 
    1. Membership is paid for annually at a fee rate decided upon by the Management Committee (see paragraph 6). The calendar year defines the period of membership.
    2. Honorary life memberships may be granted to anyone who, in the view of the membership, warrants them. Such memberships would be conferred at the Annual General Meeting.
    3. The Association may refuse/terminate the membership of any individual whose membership would in the reasonable view of the Association be harmful to it. Formally, behaviour warranting exclusion includes actions calculated to prevent the Association from conducting the business established by the Principles of Unity of the organisation. While up-holding the freedom of expression of individual members, as an association we categorically reject racist, sexist and homophobic behaviour. Any such refusal/termination must be carried out at the AGM or at an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) called for that purpose.
    4. Every member will be entitled to one vote at an AGM  EGM. See paragraph 8 for clarification of AGM.

 

Formal By-laws of the Association

  1. Management Committee:The affairs of the Association will be run by a management committee. This committee will normally comprise seven officers of the Association: Coordinator, Secretary, Membership Secretary, Treasurer; Diversity Officer; Webmaster; and, a Conference Coordinator. It will also include  seven other members without portfolio, plus all honorary life members.  Each will be elected at the AGM for a one-year period, except the Coordinator, who will normally be elected for two years, and the honorary life members. All members of the Management Committee will be eligible for re-election, except the Coordinator who may not serve two consecutive periods of office.
    1. The Secretary and Treasurer must be eligible bank account signatories and for this reason will be resident where the Association is based, as stipulated in paragraph 1.
    2. The Coordinator will be the first point of contact for the Association, should be involved in preparation of the conference, and will act as representative of the Association and be able to appoint representatives in his/her absence.
    3. The Secretary will be responsible for updating and maintaining the documentation of the Association, and managing the meetings of the Association, including preparing the documentation required for such meetings.
    4. The Membership Secretary will be responsible for updating and maintaining the membership database and for ensuring that fees are received by the Treasurer and that the details of members derived from the website are updated. The Membership Secretary will report (or appoint a representative to report) to the AGM.
    5. The Treasurer will be responsible for monitoring and recording the finances of the Association and will present (or appoint a representative to present) a financial report to the AGM.
    6. The Management Committee must meet formally at least twice per annum, one of which will be at the AGM. In addition the Management Committee will conduct business through available media. However the AGM should attempt to ensure that the geographical location of its members allow this body to meet at least once between AGMs. The Management Committee has the power to co-opt any member onto it until the next AGM.
    7. A Quorum for a formal meeting will consist of three members
    8. The AGM may if circumstances warrant override any of the above provisions, but must elect at least three full officers. If it cannot do this, a further AGM must be convened with at least three months notice, and the AGM may then appoint interim officers to handle the urgent business of the AHE until that time.
  2. Property and Funds of the Association: The property and funds of the organisation must be used only for promoting the Aims and do not belong to the members of the organisation or the Committee.  The organisation will keep a record of all income and expenditure and will ensure that these accounts will be verified annually at the AGM.
  3. Annual General Meeting:The Annual General Meeting (AGM) shall be held annually at the AHE conference. The business of the AGM shall be:
    1. To receive reports form the Co-ordinator, Membership Secretary and Treasurer.
    2. To Elect the Officers and Committee.
    3. Conduct any other business of the meeting.
    4. Any member wishing to include an item on the agenda must forward the item to the Secretary 21 days prior to the meeting.
    5. Officers and members of the committee must be proposed by two members of the organisation. 
    6. All members shall be advised of the date and location of the meeting 28 days prior to the meeting. 
    7. A quorum will be five members, one of whom must be a Committee member up to the Annual General Meeting.
  4. Amendment to Principles of Unity or By-laws of Association: Any proposed amendment to the Constitution shall be submitted as an agenda item for the AGM or at an EGM as defined in paragraph 10 with the provision of by-law  paragraph 5.  Any proposal to change the constitution requires that two thirds of the members present vote in favour.
  5. Extraordinary General Meeting: At the request of the Committee, or at the written request of 25% of members, the Secretary will call an EGM. Such a meeting must take place within six weeks of the request and at a venue decided by the Committee. The only business that will be transacted is that on the Agenda and no other business may be discussed.
  6. Winding up: If a resolution is passed to wind-up the affairs of the organisation at an AGM, or an EGM, then so much of the assets of the organisation shall be realised as required to discharge any and all liabilities of the organisation. All the remaining assets are to be disposed of by the existing committee in accordance with the Principles of Unity and aims of the AHE.

 

Agreed AGM 2012, Thursday 5th July
Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University