"Pluraliste: tout courant l'est, qui s'oppose à l'uniformisation de la vie publique." - Stanislaw Ehrlich (1907-1997), RC 16 founder


The International Political Science Association's Study Group on Problems of Socio-Political Pluralism was founded in 1976 by Stanislaw Ehrlich (Warsaw) at the X IPSA World Congress in Edinburgh. It was recognised as a Research Committee two years later.

Elected chair, Ehrlich served in that capacity for nine years, to be succeeded by Hugh Thorburn (Queen's University at Kingston) in 1985, Luigi Graziano (Turin) in 1991, Rainer Eisfeld in 2000, Jane Curry in 2006, Krzysztof Jasiewicz in 2010, Raymond Hudon in 2012, and by Mikołaj Cześnik in 2016.

Even after Ehrlich's death in 1997, his deep-felt commitment to bridge the East-West divide within the political science community has continued to inspire the committee's work: To many of the committee's members, pluralism remains not a distinguishing feature of any particular socio-political system, but rather denotes every trend fostering participation and social initiative, opposing centralism and uniformity.

Committee publications mirroring the range of our activities and interests include: Three Faces of Pluralism: Political, Ethnic and Religious (Stanislaw Ehrlich/Graham Wootton, eds.; Westmead: Gower, 1980); "Pluralism and Federalism" (Hugh Thorburn, ed.; IntPolScRev Vol. 5 No. 4, 1984); "Pluralism, Regionalism, Nationalism" (Hugh Thorburn/Jordi Sole Tura, eds.; IntPolScRev Vol. 10 No. 3, 1989); "Traditions in Pluralist Thought" (Luigi Graziano, ed.; IntPolScRev Vol. 17 No. 3, 1996); Lobbying, Pluralism, European Integration (Paul Claeys et al., eds.; Brussels: European Interuniversity Press, 1998); and Pluralism. Developments in the Theory and Practice of Democracy (Rainer Eisfeld, ed.; The World of Political Science. The Development of the Discipline Book Series. No. 4. Opladen: Barbara Budrich, 2006. With chapters by Philip G. Cerny, Avigail Eisenberg, Rainer Eisfeld, and Theodore J. Lowi).