Ongoing research projects coordinated by CEI researchers are distributed in 3 thematic lines:

Economy and Globalization

Coord: Rogério Roque Amaro

The Economy and Globalization Group brings together researchers working in different domains within the scientific areas of Economics and Business Management. Its structure reflects both the research paths already accumulated in the past and the new challenges and research interests that lie ahead.

The group is organized in four thematic clusters.

The first, one of the most experienced within the Center, refers to Development Economics issues, focusing on the Development processes (past and future) of the PALOP countries (on which there is more accumulated work), of the new emerging countries (Brazil, India, China and South Africa) and of other African, Latin American and Asian countries (namely, the so-called “New Industrialized Countries”).

The second, also with a tradition in the Center, focuses on the analysis of the issues of businessmen, entrepreneurship and management models, in different cultural contexts, namely in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The third focuses on the analysis of Globalization processes, taking into account the trends and challenges arising from economic and financial globalization, the role of WTO and the place of different countries and regions in these processes.

The fourth refers to the new concepts, practices and experiences of Social and Solidarity Economy and its relations with the new economic forms of fair trade, microcredit, alternative and ethical finance systems, social currencies and local exchange systems, the transition movement, freeconomy, exchange clubs, solidarity savings and credit networks, responsible consumption, etc. In this last cluster we intend to deepen the knowledge and the comparison between the experiences and the contributions coming from Africa, Iberian America, Asia and Macaronesia.

These four clusters allow the crossing of the Economy and Globalization Group with the three thematic lines of the Center, that is, Europe and Transatlantic Relations, Africa and Asia, by which the research areas and the corresponding researchers are distributed in multiple ways.

Institutions, Governance and International Relations

Coord.: Luís Nuno Rodrigues

The Institutions, Governance and International Relations research group is structured around two programs.

The International Relations and Global Governance program focuses on the architecture of global governance and on regional, international and global political institutions, as well as organizations such as the United Nations, the African Union, NATO, the European Union or the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation. The focus is on the relationship between domestic and foreign politics, decision-making processes and public policy, combining the study of international relations with analyses of public policy-making and global governance beyond the nation state. Given the increasing prominence of non-state actors, the group does not limit itself to relations between countries, but also addresses transnational non-governmental and civil society organizations, their structures and processes, and the influence they have on the global, national or local stage. Particular attention is paid to the changing dynamics of regional powers, fragile and failed states, the relationship between security and development, the foreign policy of emerging powers, religion, and international politics. The research favors an approach that intersects the emergence of a global civil society with a more traditional dimension of international or inter-state interaction.

The second program focuses on multidisciplinary research on the most relevant Security Challenges of the 21st century. It includes traditional threats to peace, such as bilateral and regional armed conflicts; the dangers of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons; and the proliferation of conventional weapons and technologies. Particular attention will be paid to new, cross-border and transnational challenges to peace and security. Topics to be explored include the relationship between information technologies and security (including cyber security), prevention of terrorism, energy and environmental security, demographic dynamics and health risks, climate change, water and food scarcity, and increasing energy needs. The research will also look at positive security perspectives, with non-violent measures, to analyze quantitatively and qualitatively the efforts made by international and regional organizations and non-governmental actors. The goal of these perspectives is to ease tension, resolve conflicts and promote bilateral and multilateral cooperation.

Societal and Development Challenges

Coord.: Clara Carvalho

The Societal and Developmental Challenges Group is organized into three research programs:

1. The first focuses on urbanization and the challenges to creating more inclusive societies. Urbanization has aroused great interest among the international community and researchers. In Africa and Asia, population is estimated to double between 2000 and 2030; by 2030, 80% of the urban population will be concentrated in cities in the developing world. This increasing urbanization poses a new challenge to understanding societal problems and opportunities. Cities, while concentrating poverty, are better equipped to take advantage of globalization and to create jobs and income for more people; they are better able to provide access to education and health – as well as other services – taking advantage of scale and proximity. From this perspective, the program addresses the needs and demands of the population in terms of social protection and access to basic health care, education and security. It also addresses the growing involvement of new actors in social intervention processes, such as non-governmental organizations, but also the private sector, with social responsibility programs that compete directly with NGOs, philanthropic foundations, and government programs.

2. The second program addresses the impact of globalization as it is expressed in: the emergence of the middle class and new forms of cultural and economic consumerism; the revitalization of popular culture; population movements, diasporas and their influence on local societies; cultural consumption; the circulation of information and ICTs; the affirmation of young people; new epistemologies and cultural contestation.

3. Cooperation and development projects as hallmarks of globalization are analyzed in the third program. Currently, efforts are focused on the effectiveness and coherence of APD, particularly when it comes to activities outside the OECD/DAC. These issues were examined at the major dedicated meetings (Rome 2003, Paris 2005 and Busan 2011) where the debate focused on the challenges to the assertion of the global South. These challenges include, for example, the impact of the financial crisis, global issues such as climate change, trade, foreign investment and the reform of the international architecture of development cooperation.