R&D Institutions

Resultado da avaliação 2007 na área de Ciências Jurídicas e Ciências Políticas

Unidade de I&D

Instituto de Estudos Políticos da Universidade Católica Portuguesa [LAW-LVT-Lisboa-637] visitada em 28/01/2008

Classificação: Fair

Comentários do painel de avaliação
Sobre a unidade
The institute has 8 senior research fellows. Since 2001 it has produced a number of edited volumes and a smaller number of research monographs. It has admitted 426 students since 1996 and since 1999 has produced 49 graduate theses (46 MAs and 3 PhDs) five of which have been published by commercial publishers. It has an international exchange programme involving the University of Oxford and institutions in the US and since 2001 as sent 28 students abroad, without however having benefited from a reciprocal influx of students. It holds an international summer meeting each year on a topic in political science or current affairs. These research events are also open to students and members of the public.
The research output seems dominated by the director as was evidenced by a number of collections of essays that had been published under the name of the director, and it was not very clear exactly what contribution was being made by the other members of the institute. This is a centre for policy research, training a number of students and sending them abroad, inserted into a limited international network, but so far unable to attract foreign students from the universities with which it has close relationships. It has difficulty getting foreign funding for its “international activities”. It organises some international symposia out of which essays, occasional papers and edited books are produced, but most activities appear to be ad hoc events, not contributing to a long-term unifying research theme. On the whole, therefore, the panel was not convinced that the unit has researched sufficient cohesion to pursue a clearly defined and common research agenda. At the same time, the panel had difficulty in discerning the institute’s strategy for the achievement of its desired future developments. The unit needs to define focussed areas and prioritise the topics on its planned research agenda. The panel was struck by constant criticism of the FCT’s previous funding decisions, which it did not think was appropriate.
More positively, the panel was quite impressed by the international summer meetings which seem to be well thought out and allow the institute successfully to integrate teaching and research activities.
The panel strongly suggests that the unit reflects closely on its purpose and encourages a more inclusive, team-working approach to its activities.
Sobre os grupos de investigação
Advances in the Scientific Study of Peace and War [RG-LAW-LVT-Lisboa-637-2162]
Civic Life in Market Society [RG-X-LAW-LVT-Lisboa-637-2579]
Crime, Drug Consumption and Juvenile Delinquency - Public Policies [RG-X-LAW-LVT-Lisboa-637-2745]
Cultural Tensions [RG-X-LAW-LVT-Lisboa-637-2552]
Democratic Politician. The political professionalism in the IIIrd Portuguese Republic. [RG-LAW-LVT-Lisboa-637-2561]
Early Modern Political Thought [RG-LAW-LVT-Lisboa-637-2982]
Europe and the Atlantic [RG-LAW-LVT-Lisboa-637-2339]
Evaluation of the Quality of Democracy in Portugal [RG-LAW-LVT-Lisboa-637-2562]
Family and Public Policies in Portugal [RG-X-LAW-LVT-Lisboa-637-2797]
International Society and the Abolition of the Death Penalty: Challenge, Resilience and Disputation of Norms - Europe and the United States of America [RG-LAW-LVT-Lisboa-637-2989]
Lisbon Democratic Club [RG-LAW-LVT-Lisboa-637-2728]
New Models for the Strategy of Nations [RG-LAW-LVT-Lisboa-637-2163]
Revisiting Isaiah Berlin: Liberty, International Society, and the Right to a Fair Trial [RG-LAW-LVT-Lisboa-637-2988]
Seminars in Political Studies [RG-LAW-LVT-Lisboa-637-2338]
The Privatization of Defense and Security [RG-LAW-LVT-Lisboa-637-2158]

Comentários da unidade

This is a rather peculiar evaluation. It has a significant number of factual mistakes. It ignores other relevant facts. And it is written in a hostile tone which is rare in scholarly exchanges, but is sometimes seen in power struggles and very often in petty bureaucratic feuds. The Institute has two main dimensions: a fundamental teaching programme and a small research unit in the same fields. The panel confuses the two. And it does not explain why FCT refused to fund several post-doctoral candidates, including one Harvard PhD, who had strong recommendation letters from the distinguished Harvard Professors Harvey C. Mansfield and Michael Sandel. The panel states twice that the Institute “has been unable to attract foreign students”. This is simply false. We have received students within Summer Programmes from Harvard, Boston College and Nowy Sancsz Bussiness School, in Poland. We have a joint MA programme with the Universities of Leiden, Sorbonne and Oxford. This is certainly a “limited international network”, as all have to be. But this one has the specific feature of being limited to some of the best universities in the world. The panel states that “the research output seems dominated by the director”. But the publications in question are not authored by the director alone. They are jointly edited with other international scholars. They include papers from several national and international authors. Some of these books were also published in English by distinguished institutions, such as Johns Hopkins University Press and Rowman & Littlefield. Finally, the panel states that we lack “a common research agenda”. We have explained to the panel that we follow the rules of the best international research institutions: we believe that original research cannot be planned, even though we readily admit that propaganda can. Our research agenda consists therefore in inviting the best researchers we can afford, and then in giving them freedom to explore the unknown -- in interaction with other scholars and, last but not least, with our committed students, whom we consider as junior scholars. This has made our Institute a respected partner of some of the best in the world. We regret that the same has not so far applied to FCT and to this panel.