FCT

R&D Institutions

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

Unidade de I&D

Centro de Estudos Sociais da Universidade dos Açores (CES-UA) [SOC-Acores-PontaDelgada-4063] visitada em 26/10/2007

Classificação: Fair

Comentários do painel de avaliação
Sobre a unidade
CES-UA is a relative small unit in a very remote place in Portugal. Its research issues mainly relate – logically- to the specificities and the social situation of the Azores: emigration/immigration (with an effort to construct a data base), inequalities, demography, aging, and identity, quality of life,… and public policies and institutions. A considerable amount of studies have been carried out on these topics. The work of this unit is quite important both for Portugal as a whole and for the Azores in particular. It is all the more so since CES-UA is the only research centre in the region to respond to public and private institutional demands and to provide support to public policies.
In 2003-2006, CES-UA was composed with 2 groups: «Labour, active population and aging» (4063-2311) and «Population and migrations» (4063-2312), that disappear in 2007. For the current period, 3 groups were constituted: «Aging and society» (4063-2313), «Mobility, emigration and immigration» (4063-2315) and «State and public policies, social inequalities and quality of life» (4063-2316). It is more a redistribution of topics than an innovation. Their positive and negative points are largely the same, the current groups as well as the former ones are not performing well, in keeping with the whole unit. (As in other units, one may have the impression that the groups are more an administrative concession than an effective distribution of the research themes; that is not so much a criticism as an illustration of the difficulty in constructing closed, compact research lines in the human sciences.)
If the research themes are very relevant and if the research plans for the next period are not inadequate, in the present stage, the main concepts, both in theoretical and methodological terms, have remained relatively unelaborated. The proposed research should be designed in much more scientific detail, and in comparison with similar scholarly projects, conducted in Portugal as well as in other countries, with an eye to exploring and explaining the similarities and the differences between the Azores and other regions thus moving beyond the level of mere description.
The panel considers that the research quality can be upgraded: the researchers are quite competent and dedicated and the research topics are highly relevant. And the phenomenon of emigration, particularly to the USA and to Canada, offers a unique potentiality of collaboration with researchers of these countries and may open opportunities for international publications that until now are scanty to say the least. The most efficient way to realise these potentialities appear to be a close institutional association with a high-quality unit on the mainland. The researchers of CES-UA would thus benefit from regular discussions on research, seminars and comparison of current research projects. This cooperation will also improve the situation of PHD students, who appear a little bit isolated, and who could benefit from the diverse activities organised by the associated institution. The panel understands that CIES/ISCTE (with which there already exists a cooperation protocol) is willing to become an Associated Laboratory with CES-UA and would urge the realization of such plans. Moreover it considers that were this regrouping to materialize, special financial efforts would have to be consented to help the researchers of CES-UA to « physically » participate in work-sessions, debates, seminars and other different kinds of encounters on the mainland, in addition to an increasing systematisation of e-mail exchanges.
Sobre os grupos de investigação
AGING AND SOCIETY [RG-SOC-Acores-PontaDelgada-4063-2313]
Researchers are quite competent and dedicated but their proposed research should be designed in much more scientific details and in a comparative perspective. To realize these aims, the panel suggests a close institutional association with a high quality unit on the main land. This could ensure regular debates on research and projects and could certainly upgrade the research quality.
LABOUR, ACTIVE POPULATION AND AGING [RG-X-SOC-Acores-PontaDelgada-4063-2311]
The research themes are very relevant and they mainly relate to the specificities and the social situation of the Açores. However, both in theoretical and methodological terms, the main concepts have remained relatively unelaborated. The distinction between this group and the group 2312 is not very evident.
MOBILITY, EMIGRATION AND IMMIGRATION [RG-SOC-Acores-PontaDelgada-4063-2315]
Researchers are quite competent and dedicated but their proposed research should be designed in much more scientific details and in a comparative perspective. To realize these aims, the panel suggests a close institutional association with a high quality unit on the main land. This could ensure regular debates on research and projects and could certainly upgrade the research quality.
POPULATION AND MIGRATIONS [RG-X-SOC-Acores-PontaDelgada-4063-2312]
The research themes are very relevant and they mainly relate to the specificities and the social situation of the Açores. However, both in theoretical and methodological terms, the main concepts have remained relatively unelaborated. The distinction between this group and the group 2311 is not very evident.
STATE AND PUBLIC POLICIES, SOCIAL INEQUALITIES AND QUALITY OF LIFE [RG-SOC-Acores-PontaDelgada-4063-2316]
Researchers are quite competent and dedicated but their proposed research should be designed in much more scientific details and in a comparative perspective. To realize these aims, the panel suggests a close institutional association with a high quality unit on the main land. This could ensure regular debates on research and projects and could certainly upgrade the research quality.