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International Institute of Administrative Sciences (IIAS) – Institut International des Sciences Administratives (IISA), Brussels


The IIAS is "an International Association with Scientific Purpose" whose seat is in Brussels. It is the sole organization at the international level which is devoted to the study of public administration and, in the field of comparative studies, it alone provides a forum for presenting and discussing practical experience and theoretical analyses of specialists of public administration from all regions of the world, from all cultures. As such, it has been at the crossroads of administrative development for many decades. The IIAS is thus devoted to all questions which address contemporary public administration at the national and international levels.

The Oldest of the Specialized Institutions

Established in 1930 by the International Congress of Administrative Sciences held in Madrid, the IIAS is the first of the specialized institutions to affirm, worldwide, its scientific willingness to resolve the problems and challenges facing national and international administrations. The Institute’s history demonstrates its capacity to respond to the needs of the industrialized countries as well as to those of the countries in transition and the developing countries.

The vocation of IIAS has provided the Institute with its principle characteristics which are today, as in the early days of its development, its major attributes:

  • its internationality without reservation,
  • its absolute neutrality,
  • its varied professional community,
  • its permanent adaption to a world in continuous change.

Indeed, owing to these attributes, the IIAS is a unique organization whose experience is both extensive and impressive.

A Remarkable Geographic and Professional Diversity

Membership in IIAS is largely open – geographically, scientifically and professionally. There are specifically five membership categories. These are: States, governmental international organizations, national sections, corporate members, and individual members.

The IIAS is represented in approximately one hundred countries belonging to all regions and cultures of the world.

To better cover this diversity, without neglecting either specificities or the need to strengthen relations, the IIAS has established two Specialized Associations and a Regional Group:

  • the International Association of Schools and Institutes of Administration (IASIA),
  • the International Association of Information and Documentation in Public Administration (IAIDPA),
  • the European Group of Public Administration and Development (EGPA).

At the Centre of a Worldwide Network

The IIAS works closely with the major international organizations. Since its establishment, the IIAS has been one of the United Nations’ earliest and faithful partners. As a recent example, the IIAS participated actively in the work of the Technical Committee set up by the United Nations to prepare the first General Assembly on Public Administration and Development.

The IIAS enjoys Advisory Status in the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (1948), UNESCO (1962), and the International Labour Office (1987).

The IIAS has priviledged relations with numerous international and regional organizations and is developing, to the greatest extent possible, its programs and activities in synergy with them.

In addition, the IIAS has set up an extensive file of experts in administration in all fields related to public administration as either science and/or discipline. The Institute thus has an exceptional network of highly qualified and experienced persons having most varied responsibilies, the scope of which covers the entire field of public administration and administrative systems worldwide. Experts may, without restriction, be included in the file providing that they have the competence required and request to be listed (submitted with request: a detailed curriculum vitae).

What Does the IIAS Do?


The purpose of the IIAS is to promote:

  • the development of the administrative sciences,

  • the improvement of the institutional development of the economy and of public sector management,
  • the better operation of public administrative agencies,
  • the improvement of administrative methods and techniques,
  • the progress of international administration.

To fulfill these tasks, the IIAS has set the following objectives:

  • to bring together researchers in administrative sciences, specialists of public law as well as practitioners of public administration, public sector management and institutional development, making IIAS a meeting place where knowledge and progress may be disseminated;

  • to cover the study of the administrative phenomenon in its full context and in all regions of the world with a specific accent on: the interfaces between administration and development; the innovations required to meet the rapidly changing needs of contemporary public administration;
  • to contribute to making known innovative administrative experiences; to promote the latest knowledge and experience in the administrative sciences; and thus to support comparative approaches and methods;
  • to organize scientific programmes with a view to producing conclusions and proposals capable of being used by academics, policy decision makers and administrators;
  • to position the IIAS in synergy with the objectives of the major international and regional organizations concerned with public administration, public sector management and institutional development; to be for these organizations an instrument of reflection, coordination, evaluation and follow-up;
  • to prepare useful diagnostics for international organizations to assist them in launching their projects and to contribute to the success of these projects by providing specific information and training activities, notably in determined fields and for a targeted public (for example, a seminar for higher civil servants, etc.).

These ambitious tasks require that a scientific programme be defined and followed by all, a programme to be evaluated and renewed to meet needs and demands which are constantly changing.

The scientific programme is truly a basic pillar of IIAS. It is the cornerstone of its activities.

Scientific Programme

While focusing resolutely on the future, the IIAS scientific programme integrates the major challenges confronting contemporary administrations and States during this period of rapid change and major transformations.

  • The topics of research relate to: the present state of administrative agencies, the most recent knowledge about changes and experiments in progress, the perspectives of development in a comparative context;
  • Research results are produced independently, without the constraints of administrative culture and practices, imperatives of decision makers, exigencies of academics;
  • The research seeks to result in practical, useful conclusions for practitioners or useful theoretical models for academics.

The IIAS is thus

  • a place of excellence for comparative high-level research,

  • a privilegded place for exchanges and information that benefit all countries with regard to:
  • daily administrative practices,
  • reform actions,
  • development of their research,
  • adaptation to new international data.
1. Qualities and Means

To attain its objectives and fulfill its purpose, the Institute has intrinsic qualities which are, indeed, its major, and often unique, attributes for carrying out its scientific programme:

  • Its internationality, bringing together the technologically advanced countries, the countries in transition, and the developing countries.
  • Its neutrality, the guarantee of its objectivity, privileging no particular ideology, experience or administrative system.
  • Its mixed professional community, convening academics and practitioners of administration, decision makers and researchers, civil servants and administrators with varied educational backgrounds and training.
  • Its flexibility of action, making possible rapid decisions and interventions, lightened procedures, free choice of experts, minimal costs. The framework of the IIAS Scientific Programme is not restrained.
  • Its field, the administrative phenomenon within its full context and environment: organization and means; actions and relations (internal/external, notably with regard to public/citizens); continuity and change; local, national, and international levels; combined juridical, economic and managerial approaches.
  • Its position, in synergy with the other international organizations involved in political, economic and social fields (OECD, World Bank, European Commission, UNDP, UNESCO); in consultation with all institutions devoted, either in part or in full, to the administrative sciences and public administration.

Its means of action are diversified, in particular:

  • Its Specialized Associations and Regional Group, developing permanent study groups and follow-up developments in their specific fields.
  • Its International and Annual Conferences and Congresses.
  • Its Working Groups, comprised of 10 to 15 members representing a variety and balance of countries, professions and experiences, in relation to the needs of the study, managed by a Rapporteur selected expressly for the task, responsible for carrying out a comparative study on a specific theme to cover a period of 2 or 3 years and resulting in a publication.
  • Its network of experts, highly qualified and experienced, assuming the most varied kinds of responsibilities and covering the whole of the administrative field.
  • Its Documentation and Information Service, capable of providing any documentation and reference sources required to respond to requests for information; in a position to prepare information files on subjects to be examined by experts or working groups.
  • Its publications and its Review, the IIAS and its Specialised Associations publish both studies developed by their respective working groups and the proceedings of their international meetings, the International Review of Administrative Sciences, a specialized journal concerned with public administration and the administrative sciences, is published quarterly in English, French and Arabic. It includes comparative studies and an important selected and annotated bibliography.
2. Pledge of Performance

A choice of relevant research themes:

The studies carried out by the Institute and those now in progress are the proof of a constantly diversified, renewed, as well as comparative and multidimensional approach to problems of public administrative agencies and their development.

Research themes in progress and to come:

  • Transition
  • Administrative aspects of transition economies
  • Administrative aspects of political transition
  • Implications for national and local administration of globalization and internationalization
  • Innovations in international administration
  • Impact of new technologies on administration
  • Law
  • Administrative transparency
  • New regulations and means of control
  • Changes in the law at the end of the twentieth century
  • Judicial intervention in the polical process
  • Sectoral policies
  • Management of multicultural societies
  • Women in public administration
  • Public administration and the social sectors
  • Management in major cities

Themes of the Major Meetings:

1996, Third International Conference of IIAS, Beijing, "New Challenges for Public Administration in the Twenty-first Century: Efficient civil service and decentralized public administration".

1996, Annual Conference of IASIA, Durban, "Professionalism and Ethical Conduct for the Public Servant: Challenges for the 21st Century".

1996, Annual Conference of EGPA, Budapest, "New Trends in Public Management and Law".

1997, Quebec Round Table, "Estates General of Public Administration: the changing world of government: How far have we come? Where are we headed?"

How is the IIAS Managed?

Its constituent bodies:

  • The Council of Administration, entrusted with determining the orientation of IIAS activities,
  • The Executive Committee, entrusted with the management and control of IIAS affairs,
  • The Research Advisory Council, whose task is to propose to the Executive Committee the principle themes relative to the Major Meetings, as well as to coordinate, orientate and evaluate the scientific activities of IIAS and its Specialized Associations.

The IIAS also has in Brussels its Permanent Administrative Services which are comprised of a streamlined team headed by the Director General. The latter is responsible for drawing up and implementing the activity programme of the Institute and coordinating all activities undertaken by it.

An ad hoc Scientific Committee (7 members, of a very high scientific level) assist the Director General with his line of action, choices and evaluations.

The IIAS is an example of non-bureaucratic administration. It operates with a limited administrative team and annual budget. Its financial resources are derived mainly from the contributions/subscriptions of its members and, to a lesser extent, from research contracts and subsidies.

Its streamlined structures and freedom of action underlie the dynamism of IIAS and correspond well with its purpose.

Who Can Become a Member of IIAS?

Adherence to IIAS is open to:

  • Any State;
  • Any governmental international organization established by a Treaty and comprised at least in part of Member States of IIAS;
  • "National Sections", groups of professionally qualified individuals, in member or non-member countries of IIAS, interested in the objectives of IIAS and desirous of working closely with it;
  • "Corporate Members", institutions or associations duly set up having activitites in the field of public administration on the national, international, or regional levels;
  • "Individual Members", persons well known for their scientific or professional activity in the administrative field, from non-member countries of IIAS which do not have a National Section.

How to Become a Member

Any candidate wishing to become a member must write an official letter requesting adherence to IIAS and agreeing to comply with the Statutes, notably to pay a contribution/subscription fee determined by a regulation drawn up by the Council of Administration which takes into account the candidate’s membership category.

Approval of membership by the Council of Administration, upon the proposal of the Executive Committee, is required for: States and governmental international organizations, National Sections in a non-Member State. The Executive Committee’s approval of membership suffices for: National Sections in a Member State, Corporate Members and Individual Members. Additional information may be obtained from the IIAS.

Services Rendered by IIAS to its Members

The IIAS offers many services, free-of-charge or at preferential rates, to its members in good standing. Some examples are:

IIAS publications can be recieved free of charge or at preferential rates by its members in good standing.

IIAS publications are received free of charge by the States, international organizations and National Sections, which likewise receive a quarterly circular. The publications are offered at reduced rates to the other members.

All members receive: a free subscription to the International Review of Administrative Sciences (Quarterly) and the Newsletter (three times per year).

Also accessible free of charge: bibliographic research, the use of the IIAS Documentation Centre.

Preferential rates are given to all members with regard to registration fees of Major Meetings of the Institute.

The members of IIAS have priority when participating in Working Groups, Major Meetings (Rapporteurs in particular), seminars, intern-ships and consultancy activities. Obtaining scholarships for study trips or other financial means may likewise be supported by the IIAS for the members of some countries (developing, in transition).

As members of IIAS are informed first and most rapidly of IIAS activities/projects and new developments in the international administrative community, they may, either together or individually, fully take part in and benefit from the Institute’s activities, services, means, networks and exceptional reputation. Indeed, all activities in the field of administrative sciences at the international level pass by the IIAS.

As a reminder, all IIAS members participate in the General Assembly. The States, international organizations, and National Sections have a seat on the Council of Administration and have the right to vote. Their delegates may be elected to diverse IIAS functions. As members, they also participate in both the financial management of IIAS and the formulation of its scientific programmes.

IIAS Permanent Administrative Services

Giancarlo Vilella, Director General

Scientific Affairs

- Catherine Humblet, Managing Editor of IRAS

- Cécile Poupart, Research and Publications Assistant

- Catherine Coninckx, Major Meetings

Library and Documentation

- Fernando M. Balsinhas Covas

- Monique Recloux

Administrative Affairs

- Danièle Laurent

- Marina Cruysmans

- Hafida El Ouaghli


- Ann Delasalle

Spezialized Associations

- Catherine Coninckx, Executive Secretary, IASIA & EGPA


- Gail Darge

Recent and Selected Books

La gestion de la réforme du secteur public: Une étude comparative des expériences de divers pays en matière de gestion de programmes de réforme des institutions administratives du gouvernement central, sous la direction de Joan Corkery, Turkia Ould Daddah, Colm Ó Nualláin et Tony Land, IISA-ECDPM. (Distribution: IISA / IIAS) 1998. 1400 BEF.
Femmes, Pouvoir et Sociétés: Les Enjeux de la Démocratie/ Women, Power and Society: Challenges to Democracy, sous la direction de/Edited by Sabah Chraibi Bennouna (Distribution: IISA / IIAS), 1998. 1200 BEF.
Actes du XXIVème Congrès international des Sciences Administratives de Paris (France), 1998: «Le citoyen et l'administration » / Proceedings of the 24th International Congress of Administrative Sciences, Paris (France), 1998: «The Citizen and Public Administration» (Distribution: IISA / IIAS), 1998, 800 BEF.
La couverture médicale dans la fonction publique internationale, sous la direction de Alain Plantey (Distribution: IISA). 1998, 224 pp. 800 BEF.
The Pensions of International Civil Servants, edited by Alain Plantey (Distribution: Ets. Bruylant, Brussels). 1994, 146 pp. 700 BEF.
Transformations in Social Security Systems, edited by the IIAS Working Group on Social Security Systems (Distribution: IOS Press). 1997, 138 pp. 95 NLG.


International Review of Administrative Sciences – IRAS (ISSN 0020 8523)

The Review is published quarterly in three editions: English, French and Arabic. It publishes original contributions on a wide range of topics related to public administration. The topics covered include the administration and the relationships between them. It also focuses on personnel management, administrative reform and public finance, and on the theory, philosophy and history of administration. Each issue includes a major bibliographic section listing outstanding new publications on public administration, book reviews and the Institute’s chronicle.

Any further information relative to IRAS subscription is available from the IIAS-homepage.

List of Publications

The List of Publications includes all the books published since 1980 by IIAS and its Specialized Associations. These books present the outcomes of the studies carried out by the working groups, as well as the proceedings of the various major meetings (Congresses, Conferences) or joint activities (Seminars, Conferences, ...).

A cumulative List of Publications is available on the internet.


The Newsletter is published three times per year and provides information on IIAS and its specialized Associations’ activities and projects.

Available on the internet.

Further information:

International Institute of Administrative Sciences – IIAS
Rue Defacqz 1, Box 11
B-1000 Bruxelles, Belgium

Tel.: 0032-2-538.91.65
Fax: 0032-2-537.97.02
E-mail: iias@iiasiisa.bee, Internet: