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Centre for Social Studies (CES)

CES Website

The Centre for Social Studies (CES), founded in 1978 at the Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra, is a scientific institution devoted to research and advanced training in the area of the social sciences and humanities. Headed since then by Professor Boaventura de Sousa Santos, CES now numbers 122 researchers, 48 associate researchers, 53 post-doctoral researchers and 64 junior researchers. Many of these researchers work on a full time basis at the Centre. Remaining members combine research with lecturing (the vast majority at the Faculty of Economics, the Facultys of Humanities and the Faculty of Science and Technology) or with other professional activities. The team of researchers at CES include sociologists, economists, jurists, anthropologists, historians, specialists in the areas of education, literature, culture and international relations, geographers, architects, engineers, biologists and medical doctors. The Centre for Social Studies is member of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research of the University of Coimbra (IIIUC).

Over the past years, CES has seen its scientific activity expand to a significant degree. This can be noted in its increased number of researchers, in its academic progression, in the growth of research projects involving CES researchers, in the broadening of international cooperation networks, in activities carried out in cooperation with the outside sphere and in the vitality of its main instruments for scientific dissemination.

The research projects and international scientific networks in which its researchers have participated over the past decade confirm the dynamism of the Centre for Social Studies, which, in 1997 and in 1999, and more recently in 2005 and 2010, received recognition of its scientific merit when it was evaluated as Excellent (the highest classification) by an international panel, within the framework of the Evaluation Process for Research Units of the Ministry for Science, Technology and Higher Education. In February 2002, CES was awarded the status of Associate Laboratory by the Ministry for Science, on the basis of two central premises: firstly, its proven ability to develop innovative research on Portuguese society in its different aspects, as well as on current transformations at the international level, with special emphasis on semi-peripheric societies and those of the Southern hemisphere, especially the Portuguese-speaking countries; secondly, the Centre’s involvement in issues of public interest, notably public policies and the new forms of regulation, the relation between scientific knowledge and citizen participation, and the legal system and the reform of the administering of justice.