The current challenges to peace and security and the multiple answers we seek to these show the complexity of the world we live in. The nature of the actors, the multidimensionality of processes, the interdependence of issues, the dynamics of contexts, the fluidity of time, all these factors contribute to defining the international system as simultaneously facing many obstacles, and offering many opportunities. New and old challenges point to this continuous need for research and creativity, for the search for avenues, ways ahead, detours. It is with this complex setting in mind that this issue of Cabo dos Trabalhos was thought of. Looking at multi-level analyses, from the international to the local; involving different types of actors, from state to non-state; and implying differing readings about peace and security, and the many issue areas related to these concepts. The issue gathers contributions from the PhD students of the Programme in International Politics and Conflict Resolution, a CES|FEUC joint doctoral programme (FCT Funded). These students started their PhDs in the academic year 2015/2016 and are fully integrated into the research creative path. Their contributions illustrate the diversity of research within this field of study and how relevant it is that we keep critically thinking and analyzing theories, concepts and empirical cases, in order to better grasp the many readings and interpretations that bring significance to events out there. Being aware of the multiplicity of understandings is a first step to developing a critical look at the (inter)national realm. Paraphrasing Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Peace Prize, ‘a book and a pen might change the world’. Even if our research work might not change the world, it might certainly change, or at least influence, perceptions and understandings. Though seemingly just a simple change, this simplicity might lead to more inclusive and diversified orders. And it is then when we know it is worth it.

University of Coimbra, April 6, 2017

Maria Raquel Freire

Director, PhD Programme in International Politics and Conflict Resolution (FCT Funded programme)

Carla Luís

Post-Doctoral Researcher at CES

For more information about this PhD programme see: link