OBSERVARE – Observatory of Foreign Relations
The Observatory of Foreign Relations was created in 1996 as a center for International Studies at the Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa (UAL). In 2010, the Observatory was restructured, adopting the abbreviated international name of OBSERVARE. Its Statutes define it as a university research center and as an organic unit of CEU – Cooperativa de Ensino Universitário, the founding entity of UAL, endowed with its own organs. In 2022, OBSERVARE reoriented its strategy and ceased to be an “FCT unit”, with some of its researchers who are professors at UAL becoming “integrated” into the Portuguese Institute of International Relations of Universidade Nova de Lisboa (IPRI-Nova) and the Center for International Studies (CEI) of ISCTE-IUL, constituting themselves here as “poles” of these partner R&D Units. In addition to these, OBSERVARE brings together other professors from UAL and researchers from many other national and foreign institutions, currently totalling around 70 OBSERVARE researchers, plus doctoral students in International Relations: Geopolitics and Geoeconomics at UAL with theses in progress.
OBSERVARE’s research is based on three main Research Lines -Security, War and Peace Studies; Economic Spaces and Resource Management; and Peoples and States: Constructions and Interactions – which frame collective and individual projects. As a rule, research projects are developed with other partners, in an interdisciplinary and transnational approach, and whenever possible involving “young researchers”, master’s and doctoral students. Projects already carried out include those developed in partnership or with the support of, besides national and foreign research centers, among others, the High Representative of the UN Secretary-General for the Alliance of Civilizations, the Portuguese Ministries of Defence and Foreign Affairs, Sapienza Università di Roma, Middle East Technical University (METU) in Turkey, High Institute of Police Sciences and Homeland Security (ISCPSI), Camões-Portuguese Institute for Cooperation and Language, Norwegian Centre for Conflict Resolution (NOREF, Oslo), Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS) in Addis Ababa and the Organization of Ibero-American States.
OBSERVARE has its own editions: the Janus Yearbook, published since 1997, with a “from specialists to non-specialists” philosophy; the scientific journal JANUS.NET, e-journal of international relations, published online since 2010, with biannual editions and also thematic issues, guided by the most demanding international scientific standards and indexed in multiple networks, including Scopus; and the collection of books/e-books, where the results of the collective and individual research carried out are published. In a spirit of academic openness and service to the community, all OBSERVARE editions are available online with free access.
Among the many academic and scientific activities – conferences, seminars, round tables, workshops – which are usually also open to the entire Academy and the general public, the OBSERVARE International Congresses stand out. They are held every three or four years and bring together institutional partners and participants from dozens of countries, as part of which the “OBSERVARE Awards” have also been set up to honor people and institutions that stand out for their contribution to understanding international realities and the peaceful resolution of conflicts.
In addition to research, working in partnership, internationalization and service to the community, another vital pillar of OBSERVARE is its links with advanced training, including the PhD in Media and Society in the Context of Portuguese-speaking Countries at UAL’s Department of Communication Sciences and, in particular, the courses at UAL’s Department of International Relations – Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD, as well as the many postgraduate and specialization courses.
Always in a spirit of openness, OBSERVARE remains willing to collaborate with researchers and institutions that share common working interests in the areas of International Relations, whether at the level of intellectual creativity and scientific progress or in favor of human dignity, solidarity between peoples and peace.