FCT

R&D Institutions

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

Unidade de I&D

Centro em Rede de Investigação em Antropologia (CRIA) [SOC-LVT-Lisboa-4038] visitada em 10/10/2007

Classificação: Very Good

Comentários do painel de avaliação
Sobre a unidade
CRIA is a new unit being in existence since 3 months. It results from the merger of 4 pre-existing units, among which CEAS (now group1590) and CEMME (now group 2699) which were evaluated «very good» in 2002. The 4 pre-existing groups will disappear during the period 2007-2010 and a new structuration also in 4 groups will consolidate the merger. CRIA rallies also individual research fellows from all over the country. Most of these researchers have worked already together since 5/6 years but in an informal way. It was underlined that CRIA is « a democratic fusion », made on an egalitarian basis, without the domination of one or another centre. To give a concrete expression to this « democratic » conception, they intend to meet in the future in the different universities implicated in the merger (Coimbra and Minho). If ISCTE in Lisboa is the first host institution, it is because it has a good infrastructure and a very good secretariat and managerial skills. The intention however is to rotate responsibilities and to do more and more work ‘on line’. Worth mentioning is the fact that the merger is supported by the Portuguese Association of Anthropologists.
On the occasion of the current evaluation, the unit had been subjected to considerable pressure of time in organizing itself and producing the requested report. The meeting organised during the visit of the evaluation panel was the first of the new unit. It was attended only by the members of ex-CEAS and ex-CEMME, plus a few individual members. The board however met and will meet regularly.
(1) Period 2003-2006
During the period under evaluation, the 4 Centres that now constitute CRIA have to be distinguished into two groups.
The first group, with CEAS (1590) and CEMME (2699) is very good. Each of them had a clearly defined project, with a theoretical and methodological dimension as well as a comparative approach. They enjoyed a considerable productivity, with many publications in (inter)national journals with referees. They organized (inter)national conferences with large audiences and were members of international networks (CEMME belonged to a European network of excellence). They had also much external funding. CEMME was very well placed in the international scholarly community dealing with migrations. Both are the largest components of CRIA in terms of researchers.
The second group, with a centre in Coimbra (1879) and another one in Minho (1885), was less impressive. They were small groups (but had very specific research object, what may explain their reduced dimension). The international exposure was relatively low, even if they had some international contacts, especially on the basis of Portuguese or Spanish language and they had some publications in international journals. Scholars in the centre 1885 appear to have had very heterogeneous interests but seem to have shared theoretical and methodological tools in their individual researches.
(2) The current period (2007 – 2010)
Strategical aim for the creation of CRIA
The explicit aim of the creation of CRIA and its strategic purpose are to congregate anthropology in Portugal in order:
- to concentrate the scientific efforts and to become an organic whole acquiring a position of (international) scientific leadership
- to rationalize the means: one secretary, one library, one project manager,…
- to overcome parochialism (organisation along scientific lines and not in reference to geographical localisation), to encourage mobility and to simplify the inter-institutional exchanges in matters like studies and training
- to improve collaboration between researchers working in the same field and to meet regularly to multiply the occasions for debate – also on line- (work in progress seminars, workshops, exhibitions…) in order to upgrade the level of theoretical discussion
- to stimulate the comparative thought process
- to develop an integrated PHD programme and increase the capacity of attraction of foreign students
- to improve collaboration and the communication with international organisations in Europe, in the USA and in the lusophone world
- to better dialogue with society and to increase the scientific culture
Scientific orientation
CRIA does not intend to create «a Portuguese school of anthropology», on the contrary. It rejects the classical division of anthropology according to «national paradigms» (such as the French, the English or the American) in favour of a dialogue between these different schools. The researchers of CRIA intend also to integrate the innovative contribution of Brazilian anthropology and so to build a bridge between the «old» (European) traditions and these emerging perspectives from the South. CRIA’s finding itself on the margins of the order of things anthropological established by the presently prevailing centres of France, England and the USA rather than constituting a handicap, represents a chance to innovative creativity both on the theoretical and practical levels. The members of CRIA themselves consider that their theoretical diversity is an enrichment for the discipline and may situate them in a leading position at the international level.
CRIA has various practical projects for the near future:
- to create an on-line library unifying the libraries of the different partners of the merger
- to develop a website on the Azorean diaspora
- to create forms of circulation of PHD students
- to organize a monthly seminar for thematic groups (also with representatives of other disciplines, pertinent to theme treated) and a regular general seminar for the whole unit
- to organise an international conference
The panel was impressed by the commitment of the researchers who were present at the meeting and by the enthusiasm they expressed concerning the merger. They consider this as an excellent and promising opportunity for them. According to them, the new unit will induce
- more practical facilities : one library, one place for archives, library on line, data bases,…and more support for applications and for publication
- more visibility
- more job opportunities
- more opportunities to participate in external events
- more contacts with experienced researchers and more discussion and circulation of knowledge, which will upgrade the level of competence
- more participation in (inter)national networks
It is not possible to give a mark to this unit and its new components on the basis of their productivity because their existence is very recent and they need time to develop a more detailed programme. But considering all the aspects just mentioned and the former output and relevance of the two main (quantitatively and qualitatively) components of CRIA (CEAS and CEMME), looking upon the new ideas they have for improving the training procedures and for integrating the researchers of peripheral areas and taking into account the evaluation made on the basis of the written reports, the panel consider that this unit deserves a very good classification.
Nevertheless, the panel attracts the attention of the board of CRIA to the need to make efforts to effectively and practically integrate all the researchers and particularly those coming from «the periphery». It will be important to avoid that Lisboa becomes the sole place of meeting, debates and events (the members of the panel have taken note of the hopes of the researchers working in the periphery to have an effective presence of the research activity in their region). The panel also suggests that the board reflects on the maintaining of three published journals and on the organization such a large group entails.


Sobre os grupos de investigação
CEAS/ISCTE [www.ceas.iscte.pt] [RG-X-SOC-LVT-Lisboa-4038-1590]
This group had a clearly defined project, with a theoretical and methodological dimension as well as a comparative approach. It enjoyed a considerable productivity, with many publications in (inter)national journals with referees. It organized (inter)national conferences with large audiences and was a member of international networks). It had also much external funding. It was very well placed in the international scholarly community.
CEEP/FCSH-UNL [www.ceep.fcsh.unl.pt] [RG-X-SOC-LVT-Lisboa-4038-1885]
It was a very small group. Scholars appear to have had very heterogeneous interests but seem to have shared theoretical and methodological tools in their individual researches. The international exposure was relatively law.
CEMME/FCSH-UNL [www.cemme.fcsh.unl.pt] [RG-X-SOC-LVT-Lisboa-4038-2699]
This group had a clearly defined project, with a theoretical and methodological dimension as well as a comparative approach. It enjoyed a considerable productivity, with many publications in (inter)national journals with referees. It organized (inter)national conferences with large audiences and was a member of international networks (CEMME, the name of the group, belonged to a European network of excellence). It had also much external funding. CEMME was very well placed in the international scholarly community dealing with migrations.
CIA/FCT-UC [Group for the Studies in Material, Visual and Performative Culture] [RG-X-SOC-Centro-Coimbra-4038-1879]
It was a very small group but with a very specific research object. Its international exposure was relatively low even if it had some international contacts, especially on the basis of Portuguese and Spanish languages. It had some publications in international journals.
Culture: Practices, Politics, Displays [RG-SOC-LVT-Lisboa-4038-104]
Migrations, Ethnicity, Citizenship [RG-SOC-LVT-Lisboa-4038-105]
Power, Knowledge, Mediation [RG-SOC-LVT-Lisboa-4038-106]
Social identity and differentiation [RG-SOC-LVT-Lisboa-4038-103]