Considering the increasing internationalization of social processes, training in the field of International Relations has had a relevant role in UAL’s academic offer. The PhD in International Relations: Geopolitics and Geoeconomics, which started in 2015, is evidence of UAL’s institutional project and three of its main aspects: provide advanced training and focus on research and internationalization.
Since 1989, the year the Bachelor program in International Relations started, several post-graduations have been organized on international topics. In 2002, the Master in Peace and War Studies in New International Relations started, and, in 2013, the Master in International Relations. This third studies cycle thus aims to complement our training offer in International Relations.
UAL is now also focused on teaching and on scientific research, now one its strategies. Thus, the support to creating and/or reinforcing its research units, as is the case of OBSERVARE, funded in 1996 and evaluated by FCT in 2015 as “Good”. This PhD is evidence of the referred strategy: PhD lecturers are also researchers at OBSERVARE and the theses produced by the students should be in the framework of the research strands of OBSERVARE.
- War, Peace and Security Studies;
- Economic Spaces and Resources Management;
- People and States – constructions and interactions.
A third important focus of UAL is internationalization. The International Relations Department at UAL and OBSERVARE have therefore invested in scientific and pedagogical exchange with foreign lecturers, researchers and institutions – such as, the Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre (NOREF); the FRIDE, Carolina and Real Instituto Elcano Foundations in Spain; Instituto Superior de Estudos de Defesa (ISEDEF) in Mozambique; Instituto de Ciências Sociais e Relações Internacionais in Angola; Instituto da Defesa Nacional in East Timor; Instituto de Relações Internacionais (IREL) at Universidade de Brasília, IR Department at Univ. Pontifícia de São Paulo or Univ. Federal de Santa Catarina, in Brazil; Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas (IIJ) at Univ. Nacional Autónoma in México; the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Germany; Universidade ORT and Instituto Artigas do MRE, in Uruguay; and Univ. Megatrend in Serbia -, which have led to the development of joint activities.
Among these, we would like to mention the Transnational Research Program, which is closely linked to the current PhD in International Relations: Geopolitics and Geoeconomics The referred program is based on formal agreements with the Middle East Technical University (METU) in Turkey, Sapienza Università di Roma-Italy, Universidade Complutense de Madrid-Spain and Pontifícia Universidade Católica (PUC) in Sao Paulo-Brazil. Under the agreements, the partner institutions must make lecturers available for PhD lectures, supervising theses and participating in jury examinations; partner institutions ahould also welcome our PhD students in their facilities for research and thesis writing.
The PhD in International Relations: Geopolitics and Geoeconomics thus evidences its potential: a research unit acknowledged by its peers, highly qualified academic staff, participation of lecturers from foreign universities of reference, and both interuniversity and transnational cooperation in research, lecturing and in thesis supervision. Noteworthy is also the fact that the program’s theoretical approach, based on the interprenetation of politics, security and economy in the current international scenario, closely linking geopolitical and geoeconomic analysis.
The program includes four seminars, mostly on advanced research and focusing on questioning and theoretical innovation associated to analysis of the international environment, so that the PhD theses may truly contribute to scientific progress in this field of International Relations that has both consolidated its autonomy while evidencing its interaction with other fields.