Coordinator: Luís Nuno Rodrigues

This Research Group develops its activities across several geographic lines that exist in the structure of the Centre for International Studies. It focuses on the political aspects of International Studies, with an emphasis on Institutions, Governance, and International Relations.

The group covers two major research programmes. The first is “international relations and global governance”, where researchers study the architecture of global governance and international, regional, and global political institutions, as well as organisations, such as the United Nations, the African Union, NATO, the European Union, and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation. This programme focuses the relationships between domestic politics and foreign policies, decision-making processes, public policies in world affairs, whilst bringing together the study of international relations with analyses of public policy creation and global governance beyond the nation-state. Main interests are not limited to relations between countries but also include transnational non-governmental and civil society organisations, their structures and processes, and their influence on global, national, or local policy arenas. Particular attention will be paid to changing regional power dynamics, weak and failing states, relations between security and development, foreign policies of emerging powers, religion, and international politics.

The second research program focuses on the multidisciplinary study of the most relevant “security challenges for the twenty-first century”. It includes traditional threats to peace, such as bilateral and regional armed conflicts; the perils of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons; and the proliferation of conventional weapons and technologies. Particular attention will be given to the spread of new, cross-border, and transnational challenges to peace and security. The research will also focus on positive security perspectives, which rely on non-violent measures, to quantitatively and qualitatively analyse efforts developed by international and regional organisations and nongovernmental agents. The goal of these perspectives is to de-escalate, solve conflicts, and to promote cooperation both at a bilateral or multilateral level.