On March 30, to mark the 10th anniversary of the IPSA secretariat’s founding in Montreal, Lachapelle has invited famed political scientist Ronald Inglehart to speak at Concordia.
Inglehart’s talk, 35 Years of the World Values Survey: What’s Next?, takes place at 2 p.m. in the Sir George Williams University Alumni Auditorium (H-110).
“Inglehart created the World Values Survey over 35 years ago,” explains Lachapelle. “And this is what IPSA has been doing from the beginning, encouraging the development of an international comparative databank that all political scientists can use.”
Created in 1949 after World War II, the association grew out of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) desire to promote dialogue between nations.
“The idea was to establish more links between professors and researchers across the world, with the ultimate goal of less war, and people getting engaged more in discussion and negotiation,” Lachapelle explains.
Over the years, IPSA grew from a small cluster of member countries to over 50. In addition to publishing articles, the organization holds a congress every two years.
Lachapelle became involved with IPSA in the early 1980s as a graduate student at Northwestern University, when the association’s journal was first created.
“The goal of the journal was to do comparative analysis, and it was a bilingual journal. I thought that was exactly the kind of journal I was interested in,” says Lachapelle. “So, I joined IPSA, because when you join, you receive the journal.”
A new leader, and a new home
Fast forward to 1995, when Lachapelle was working for the mayor of Québec City, chairing the committee charged with evaluating the population's support for hosting the 2002 Winter Olympics. Lachapelle suggested the city put in a bid for the next IPSA World Congress in 2000, and they won.
Then IPSA asked him if would take over the position of secretary general in 2000.