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About Centre for Social Studies

Towards a global socioeconomy. Solidarity Economy in times of conservatism and populism


The Centre for Social Studies (CES) was created at the University of Coimbra four years after April 25, 1974, date of the Carnation Revolution and has been headed until recently by the sociologist Boaventura de Sousa Santos.

CES is today a scientific institution oriented to advanced research and training in the social sciences and humanities. It has a large group of researchers (about 120) who develop their work in several areas. Among them are sociologists, economists, jurists, anthropologists, historians, specialists in the fields of education, literature, culture and international relations, geographers, architects, engineers, and biologists.

Over the last few years, CES has experienced a remarkable expansion of scientific activity. Its research staff has steadily increased, research projects have grown, international cooperation networks have grown, cooperation with the outside world has grown, and its main instruments of scientific dissemination are showing signs of strong vitality. CES comprises five research groups and six observatories, hosts 12 doctoral programmes, organises several advanced training courses, produces seven periodical publications (three of which are indexed) and one book series.

Since 1997, the excellence of its scientific merit has been recognised and, in February 2002, CES was awarded Associated Laboratory status, based, on the one hand, on the demonstrated capacity to develop innovative research on Portuguese society as well as on the current transformations worldwide, with emphasis on semiperipheral societies and the Global South, particularly in Portuguese-speaking countries; and, on the other hand, the involvement of the Centre in matters of public interest, in particular in public policies and new forms of regulation; in the relations between scientific knowledge and citizens’ participation; and in the relations between the legal system and the reform of the administration of justice.

CES is located in Coimbra, a city of 120 thousand inhabitants in the central region of Portugal. With a history that dates back to the end of the 13th century, the University of Coimbra is the oldest university in Portugal and one of the oldest in Europe. On June 22, 2013, it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO (see more at

Compete 2020 FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia POVT - Programa Operacional Temático Valorização do Território Universidade de Coimbra