In 1978, at the annual meeting of the American Philosophical Associated (APA) Eastern Division, a group of Hobbes scholars recognized that by creating an organization they could request space at APA meetings and appear in the program. The group included Bertram Morris (UC, Boulder), Richard Popkin (Washington University, St. Louis), William Sacksteder (UC, Boulder), Herbert Schneider, (Claremont Graduate School), and Bernard Baumrin (Graduate Center, CUNY). They formed the International Hobbes Association (IHA) and were then able to convince the APA leadership to sponsor a tercentenary special set of sessions on Hobbes’s philosophy.
In November 1987 the IHA announced the launch of a new journal, Hobbes Studies, to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the birth of Thomas Hobbes. It was to be published by Van Gorcum Publishers in Assen, The Netherlands. Martin A. Bertman was named Editor-in-Chief, and the original Editorial Board included: Timo Airaksinen, Jeffrey Barnow, Timothy Fuller, Klaus-M Kodalle, Michel Malherbe, G.A.J. Rogers, Ross Rudolf, John Ryan, and Karl Schumann “with the advice of the International Hobbes Association’s Steering Committee and its Honorary Board.”
In 1998, Martin Bertman asked Rosamond Rhodes to take on the role of IHA Program Committee Chair, a position she held through 2017. On behalf of the IHA, she organized sessions at the 20th World Congress of Philosophy, Boston in August 1998. Between 2003–2013, she organized IHA sessions at the APA Pacific Division.
In 2012, when Martin became ill, a group of active IHA members (Bernard Baumrin, Timo Airaksinen, Juhana Lemetti, Al Martinich, and Rosamond Rhodes) drafted a minimal constitution. It established that the group’s leader would be known as “Sovereign,” and hold that position for a five-year term. Rosamond Rhodes was selected to be the first IHA Sovereign, serving from 2013–2017. She moved the annual IHA sessions to the APA Eastern Division to facilitate participation from European Hobbes scholars. Over the past 19 years, IHA sessions have included author-meets-critic sessions, panels, papers, and commentaries.
Going forward, this site aims to support the mission of the IHA by "promoting research and discussion of philosophical, political, historical, literary, and scientific matters related to Thomas Hobbes's thought." With pages dedicated to news, events, and recent scholarship, the site is managed by and for the members of the IHA.