International Dostoevsky Society Constitution


Name and Location

Art. 1            The „International Dostoevsky Society“ is a non-profit association governed by the present statutes and, secondarily, by Articles 60 et seq. of the Swiss Civil Code. It is politically and confessionally neutral.


Art. 2            The „International Dostoevsky Society“ is located at the Universität St. Gallen

Kulturwissenschaftliche Abteilung Gatterstrasse 1

CH-9010 St. Gallen




Art. 3            The Society shall pursue the following aims:

– to promote the study of the life, work and reception of Fedor M. Dostoevsky, and

– to organize every three years an international conference devoted to Dostoevsky



Art. 4            The Society’s resources come from the membership dues. The funds shall be used in conformity with the Society’s aims.



Art. 5            Any individual or institution may request to join the Society if they have proved their attachment to the aims of the Association through their commitment or actions.


Art. 6 Regional Dostoevsky Societies can join the Society by holding a regional meeting, adopting a regional constitution, and electing a regional representative. The regional representative will attend the next General Assembly in order to be appointed by that body.


Art. 7 Membership ceases:

– on death

– by written resignation addressed to the Secretary

– by decision of the Executive Committee, if a member is deemed to have been guilty of anti-statutory behavior or to have engaged in activities that conflict with the general purpose of the Society. Legal action requiring reasons for exclusion is not permitted under Art 72 of the Swiss Civil Code.


Art. 8 In all cases the membership fee for the current year remains due. Members who have resigned or who are excluded have no rights to any part of the Society’s assets.


Art. 9 Only the assets of the Society may be used to meet financial commitments. Members have no individual responsibility.



Art. 10            The Society’s organs are:

  1. a) The General Assembly
  2. b) The Executive Committee
  3. c) The Honorary Board
  4. d) The Auditors


Art. 11            The General Assembly is the Society’s supreme authority. It is composed of all members in good standing.

It shall hold an ordinary meeting once every three years, to coincide with its International Symposia.

The General Assembly shall be considered valid regardless of the number of members present.

The Executive Committee shall send notice of a meeting of the General Assembly to members at least six weeks in advance of a meeting. Details, including the proposed agenda, shall be sent to each member at least ten days before the meeting date.


Art. 12            The General Assembly:

– approves the admission of regional societies and the expulsion of members;

– fixes the annual membership fees;

– elects members of the Executive Committee, including a President, a Secretary, a Treasurer; it may also elect Vice-Presidents;

– may advise Society officers and the editors of its publications.

– notes the contents of the reports and financial statements for the year and votes on their adoption;

– approves the annual budget;

– appoints two auditors for the Society’s accounts;

– appoints the national representatives;

– decides on any modification of the Statutes;

– decides on the dissolution of the Society.


Art. 13 The General Assembly is normally presided over by the Society’s president. In the unavoidable absence or incapacity of the President, the Secretary or other suitable member of the Executive Committee shall preside.


Art. 14            – Decisions of the General Assembly shall be taken by a majority vote of the members present. In case of deadlock, the President shall cast the deciding vote.


Art. 15            Votes are by a show of hands. If requested by at least five members, they may take place by secret ballot.


Art. 16 Decisions concerning the amendment of the Statutes and the dissolution of the Society must be approved by a two-thirds majority of the members present.


Art. 17            The Executive Committee is authorized to carry out all acts that further the purposes of the Society. It is authorized to manage the Society’s business. It will approve the budget and the accounts during the two years that the Society does not normally meet. It is responsible for the organization of the International Symposia.


Art. 18            The Executive Committee is composed of at least 3 members elected by the General Assembly. Minimally, the General Assembly will elect a president, an executive secretary, and a treasurer. Each member’s term of office shall last for 3 years and is renewable on one occasion only.


Art. 19 The treasurer is responsible for the finances of the Society. Every year s/he compiles a financial report.


Art. 20 The two auditors appointed by the General Assembly shall audit the Society’s accounts every year.


Art. 21 The Executive Committee may at its discretion consult advisers from the Society’s Honorary Board.


Art. 22 All past Presidents will become Honorary Presidents for life.  At General Assembly meetings, the Executive Committee may nominate individuals who have made significant contributions to Dostoevsky scholarship or to the Society or both to become Honorary Presidents.


Various provisions

Art. 23            In the case of the Society being dissolved, its assets should be allotted to a non-profit organisation benefiting from tax exemption and pursuing goals of public interest similar to those of the International Dostoevsky Society or to the Canton of St. Gallen. Goods cannot be returned to the founders or members, nor be used for their own profit.



In 2010, the original IDS Constitution from 1971 was amended to reflect the Society’s new non-profit status. A file with the old and new Constitutions was sent, in English and in Russian, to all members of the IDS prior to the XIVth International Dostoevsky Symposium in Napoli. At the meeting of the General Assembly, the changes to the Constitution were presented, discussed, and ratified by all members in attendance.