Research Unit

CEPESE-Centre for the Study of Politics, Economy and Society is a new research unit, the core of which is to study themes in the fields of politics and humanitarian studies, in close connection with Universidade Fernando Pessoa (UFP)'s political science and humanitarian studies degrees

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This R&D unit restructures former CEPESE-Centre for the Study of Population, Economy and Society, the core scientific area of which was history, albeit already covering complementary areas such as international relations, psychology, sociology and demography. The Management institution is the Association CEPESE, which keeps the previous designation, but created the new R&D Unit, now with a core focus on political science. The project is to build an innovative R&D unit that will focus on the following objectives:

  1. To research political science with a view to emergent topics that bear theoretical as well as practical implications in the development of cutting-edge political research;
  2. To develop applied research with reference to the eminently necessary and rapidly evolving field of humanitarian studies, which connects theory with practice, but which is also positioned on a particularly affluent transdisciplinary platform, bridging political science with legal studies, other social sciences, health studies and management, to name but the main fields.
  3. To capitalise on the long experience of CEPESE in researching at the local, national and international levels of political history, benefiting both from the particular insight of diachronic social studies and from the deeply rooted insertion of CEPESE in the local community (local political authorities, civil society networks) and its international extension via longstanding partnerships.


CEPESE organises its research on the basis of Research Thematic Areas.

 With reference to objective 1, we focus on selected thematic areas in political studies.

i) Governance and democracy: This area accommodates a multi-level perspective of political systems and currently covers projects: on the European Union, on democratisation in Asia and in Portugal, on the CPLP political systems; and on governance and information systems.ii) Capitalism and sustainability: This area covers research on the (in)compatibility between capitalism and sustainability, and relies on interaction between members whose academic profiles cross politics with economics.


With reference to objective 2, we aim to bridge political and humanitarian studies. It is our ambition to strengthen specific applied research on humanitarian studies, a relatively absent field in the Portuguese scenario.

iii) Human rights and humanitarian studies: This area aims at studying and promoting good practices in humanitarian work and humanitarian standards, in close connection with academic and NGO networks.

iv) Human security: conflicts and disasters; health, food security and well-being: This thematic area aims to bridge theoretical approaches with practical guidance and field experience on human security, gathering multidisciplinary teams and promoting an international network.


With reference to objective 3, our plan continues CEPESE's research tradition in the field of political history and connected heritage, memory and identity topics.

v) Migration: past to present: We aim to develop two projects, one on the built heritage of Portuguese returned emigrants from Brazil, in partnership with municipalities and with a view to promoting good practices in the preservation and promotion of cultural heritage. The second project addresses migrations to and from Brazil, past-to-present, and is a follow-up of previous research under the REMESSAS project.

vi) Contemporary political history: We continue our research tradition in Portuguese contemporary political history, namely studying Portuguese contemporary political elites as a follow-up of previous studies.