The Centre for International Studies has as its core mission developing academic research, thinking and intervention in a range of complex social, political and economic phenomena that go beyond national and regional borders. CEI-Iscte is committed to producing research of excellence addressing the most critical 21st Century international developments and societal challenges, as well as the consequences of globalisation. CEI-Iscte develops its research agenda and activities in close articulation with different graduate programs at Iscte – University Institute of Lisbon, combining interdisciplinary research with a broad public-oriented activity, promoting research dissemination and public awareness of science and engaging in public debates. Committed to a policy of open access for its research outputs, CEI-Iscte is already a member of some of the leading international research networks on International Studies and articulates many of its activities with civil society and public institutions.


CEI-Iscte is organized on a matrix design of four regional lines – Africa, Asia & MENA, Latin America & Caribbean and Europe & Transatlantic Relations – crossed by three research groups – Institutions, Governance and International Relations, Societal and Development Challenges and Economy and Globalization.

This matrix combines researchers’ expertise on regional contexts with comparative research approaches of global relevance and theoretical approaches arising from political science, international relations, sociology, history, security studies, anthropology, and economics.

Scientific Areas & Objectives

International Studies and African Studies are the scientific areas of CEI-Iscte, as recognized by the Scientific Council of Iscte. CEI-Iscte conducts multidisciplinary research in social sciences, so in addition to the specific areas it also includes Development Studies, International Relations, Anthropology, Sociology, History, Political Science, Political Economy and General Management.

CEI-Iscte defines as the fundamental objective the development of in-depth research on themes that fall within its research groups: institutions, governance and international relations; societal and developmental challenges; economy and globalization. The research will focus on four regional areas, defined as priorities: Africa; Europe & Transatlantic Relations; Asia & the Middle East; Latin America & the Caribbean. Within this organizational matrix, CEI-Iscte intends to:

> In African studies, area in which the CEI-Iscte is an international reference, the first line of research focus on politics, institutions and international relations, paying attention to the processes of State organization and functioning of institutions. The second focus is on ecology and development challenges, with particular attention to environmental security and climate change, but also to mobility and forced migration. Also, the issues of citizenship, activism and human rights are addressed at CEI-Iscte.

> The Europe & Transatlantic Relations line focus on the role of the EU as a global actor, the European integration project and the common security and defense policy. It will pay attention to transatlantic relations and the challenges it faces, US foreign policy, and the role of multilateral institutions such as NATO. Lastly, it will focus on international conflicts, peace and war, and the key security challenges in international relations.

> The Latin America line deals with the political and economic relations with other Continents and with the region’s political dynamics, from regional integration to the holding of elections. Cultural practices, levels of integrity and corruption, violence and illegal markets are other areas of focus. This line analyses the impact of globalization on local societies, from urbanization and the role of port cities to the emergence of new solidarity economy movements.

> The Asia and MENA group organizes its research around three axes: mobility, identity and religion, focusing on the processes of forced migration, the issue of refugees and the violent conflicts that run through the MENA region, but also on the emergence of China as a global power. The research will address the issue of identity under various prisms, including gender, ethnic and national and religious identities.

CEI-Iscte has also for objectives:

  • Broaden its research team;
  • Increase the quantity and quality of its publications;
  • Increase the number of nationally and internationally funded projects;
  • Focus on internationalization through belonging to recognized international networks;
  • Maintain the link between research and teaching, namely the Master and PhD in African Studies, the Master in Development Studies, Master in International Studies, Master in Social and Solidarity Economy, the Master and PhD in Political Science, and the PhD in History, Defence and International Relations;
  • Reinforce articulation with civil society;
  • Pursue open access policies;
  • Dissemination of information through public activities, debates, publications and knowledge transfer to a broader audience.