FCT

R&D Institutions

Resultado da avaliação 2007 na área de Sociologia, Antropologia, Demografia e Geografia

Unidade de I&D

UBI_CES (Centro de Estudos Sociais da Universidade da Beira Interior) [SOC-Centro-Covilha-4086] visitada em 23/11/2007

Classificação: Fair

Comentários do painel de avaliação
Sobre a unidade
This unit has revitalised the research activities of the last few years in a new framework with two research lines. The members of the unit have a strong commitment and assuredly a serious intellectual potential. But the ambitions of the group (to become a centre of excellence and a model for other research units) formulated in a rather abstract way, are perhaps too ambitious and somewhat unrealistic, especially in the short term. It was difficult for the panel to see how concrete research activities are effectively linked to the more theoretical perspectives broached. This is in contrast with the reported service to the community (with emphasis on practical information) and the open attitude towards issues of regional development. Furthermore, these ambitions are at least partly contradictory. On the one hand, the unit wants to turn its weakness into strength by capitalizing on its peripheral position by cooperating with other peripheral centres (not only in Portugal but also in Europe). On the other hand, it says it wants to contribute at the centre to the development of new theoretical approaches and paradigmatic frameworks. The panel suggests a rethinking of ambitions in a more realistic way and pragmatic fashion. The unit should perhaps wonder which research questions are relevant, which can be readily solved, which are more long term issues, which can be tackled with limited capacity and funds, which need greater external support and from which stakeholders,… ? Furthermore, the publication strategy should be developed and the potential networking should be rethought in relation with concrete specific research topics.
The specific activity of the group «Development and politics» (4086–40) is presented in extremely broad terms. The list of prospective research projects was almost as general and all-encompassing. They are signs that the group will engage in concrete empirical research, but it was difficult to come to any precise understanding of what its members are actually likely to achieve.
The group «Cultures and diversity» (4086–41) is very small; there are four researchers, two of whom are already in the other group. The proposed agenda is in the area of cultural studies, with fashionable theoretical ideas (about embodiment, hybrid epistemologies, and so on) receiving most attention. But the empirical applications are presented in far too broad a manner (to compare for instance Africa and Asia with regards to the meaning of the body).
Sobre os grupos de investigação
Culturas e Diversidade [RG-SOC-Centro-Covilha-4086-41]
The group «Cultures and diversity» (4086–41) is very small; there are four researchers, two of whom are already in the other group. The proposed agenda is in the area of cultural studies, with fashionable theoretical ideas (about embodiment, hybrid epistemologies, and so on) receiving most attention. But the empirical applications are presented in far too broad a manner (to compare for instance Africa and Asia with regards to the meaning of the body).
Desenvolvimento e Políticas [RG-SOC-Centro-Covilha-4086-40]
The specific activity of the group «Development and politics» (4086–40) is presented in extremely broad terms. The list of prospective research projects was almost as general and all-encompassing. They are signs that the group will engage in concrete empirical research, but it was difficult to come to any precise understanding of what its members are actually likely to achieve.