The Instituto de Estudos Sociais e Políticos (IESP) of the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ), formerly known as IUPERJ, is a leading research and graduate studies institute in Latin America. IESP was the first graduate school in Brazil to offer a doctoral degree program in political science, graduating its first Ph.D. student in 1971. In the early 1970s IESP added graduate programs in Sociology. Since IESP’s founding, students have defended 222 doctoral dissertations and 321 master’s theses in political science and 157 doctoral dissertations and 237 master’s theses in sociology.
IESP has trained many generations of social scientists, who have gone on to hold faculty positions in prestigious universities in Brazil and abroad, as well as having become researchers, political consultants and administrators in important public and private institutions.
In the 1970s, IESP played a key role in the foundation of the National Association of Graduate Studies in the Social Sciences (ANPOCS), Brazil’s largest and oldest academic association in the fields of political science, sociology and anthropology. IESP also was a chief supporter of the creation of the Brazilian Political Science Association (ABCP) in the 1980s, and currently houses the ABCP’s administrative office.
IESP is the institutional home for Dados – Revista de Ciências Sociais, the oldest and most prestigious social science journal in Brazil. One of the few Brazilian periodicals indexed by the Institute for Scientific Information – ISI (Thomson Co.), Dados has one of the highest impact factors in Latin America among competing social science periodicals.
The Graduate Program in Political Science offers a master’s degree program (4 semesters) and a Ph.D. program (8 semesters), which students may do independently of one another or in sequence. The program allows students to specialize in the following fields and research topics:
International relations and comparative politics: Comparative political analysis; Democracy, modalities of capitalism and development in comparative perspective; International relations and analysis of foreign policy.
Political institutions and political behavior: Political institutions and public policies; Media and public opinion; Electoral systems, party systems and political behavior.
Political theory: Classical, modern and contemporary political theory; Theories and methods of historical and non-historical textual analysis; Brazilian political thought.
Inequalities, social mobility and labor: Social stratification and mobility; Labor and society; Quantitative and qualitative methodologies.
Political and urban sociology: Collective action, citizenship and social movements; Violence, the youth and sociability; Urban and regional studies.
Social theory: Sociological theories; Social theory and modernity; Philosophy of the social sciences.
The faculty members of the sociology and political science programs at IESP have acquired their professional training at top Brazilian, American and European universities. The high quality of IESP’s graduate programs is intimately connected to the multiple research activities developed at the institute either by individual scholars or through the institute’s 14 research groups and laboratories. At IESP we believe that the students’ engagement with research activities, and not only course work, is crucial to their graduate training.
Since its foundation, IESP has maintained a leading role in the fields of political science and sociology. The institute attracts a large number of foreign academics and scholars from other institutions throughout Brazil as invited lecturers, visiting researchers, visiting professors and visiting students. IESP welcomes foreign students from all over the world to earn their entire graduate degree at the institute. IESP actively seeks to provide these students with financial support to make possible their stay in Rio de Janeiro, either through scholarships from Brazilian and foreign funding agencies or through international agreements.
Although IESP is part of the State University of Rio de Janeiro, it is located apart from UERJ’s main campus, in a 19th century house in the neighborhood of Botafogo in the South Zone of Rio de Janeiro, near the world-famous neighborhoods of Copacabana and Ipanema.