European Trade Union Institute, ETUI.

Accueil > About Etui > Networks > TURI > Turi Members > Portuguese members

Portuguese members

Full members

Address :
Praça D. Luís, 9 - 1º dtº.
1200-148 Lisbon
Contact :
Reinhard Naumann
+351 21 347 33 75 / 21 357 34 93
+351 21 357 34 22

Short Description


The Ruben Rolo Institute (IRR) was established in 1998. Since then it has developed research and training activities in the area of labour relations. Trade-unionists from all over the world and specialized researchers in the areas of economy, sociology and labour law cooperate in the initiatives of the Institute. The Ruben Rolo Institute aim is to contribute with its research and its public debates to the social and political debate in the Portuguese trade unions, involving unionists, politicians and academics from different national and political backgrounds. A central issue in this work is the relation between globalization and labour relations in Europe and Portugal.

The principles that guide the work of the Ruben Rolo Institute are: Pluralism, Freedom of opinion, Critical and constructive spirit, Innovative intervention in society, Trade-union orientation.

The Institute organizes seminars regularly; it publishes texts for reflection (Cadernos IRR) and it is involved in the organization of international conferences and workshops every year.

Areas of expertise and competencies


· Industrial relations - contact person: Maria da Paz Campos Lima

· Vocational training - contact person: Markus Wochnik

· Macro economics - contact person: Nádia Simões

· Civil society - contact person: Raquel Rego

· Union restructuring - contact person: Reinhard Naumann

Work programme, strategic plan, projects

· Project “Democracy and Transparency” (database “Elections in Unions”, research in member participation)

· Project “Social Justice” (scientific expertise for a trade union campaign for social justice)

· Project “Unions and Communication” (research in internal and external trade union communication)

Publications, language, newsletter

No regular publications; download of IRR-Issues (in Portuguese) at

Other networks the institute is participating in

Associated members

Address :
Av Dias da Silva, 165
3004-512 Coimbra
Contact :
Elísio Estanque
(+351) 91 775 0186

Short Description

1. The Centre for Social Studies (CES) and the Faculty of Economics (FEUC)
The Centre for Social Studies and the Faculty of Economics are part of the University of Coimbra, with more than 10% of foreign students, and one third is involved in postgraduate courses. Despite being a research centre, CES is not only directly related with academic world but also oriented toward civil society, working together or involved in associative projects and activities in co-operation with associations and social movements, namely trade unions and other economic and political actors.
Scientifically directed by Boaventura de Sousa Santos, CES is a Portuguese institution that develops research in the social sciences using an interdisciplinary approach. At least over the last three decades CES has developed a growing interest in internationalization and especially in connection to the Global South. This interest has been expressed in various projects and bilateral relations developed especially with Brazil. At the same time, CES involves a large range of scientific and outreach activities including doctoral and post-doctoral programs, training courses in advanced studies, participation in national and international networks, development of on-going training activities in professional and academic fields, the promotion and dissemination of scientific culture. In February 2002, CES was awarded the status of Associated Laboratory by the Ministry for Science, a status renewed in 2010 for another 10 years (2011-2020), after another international evaluation.
CES is currently involved in a dynamic environment of 12 doctoral programs, with over 300 research students, from multiple countries across the world. These programs involve partnerships with different Faculties of the UC.

Within a community of some 200 researchers involved in an average of 75 projects a year, students find ample opportunities to interact scientifically. Complementary and jointly with CES, FEUC provides an environment of learning/ teaching for over 40 years within a progressive dialogue between interdisciplinary areas of Sociology, International Relations, Economics and Management (the four areas of knowledge on which FEUC is based). In fact, FEUC has
strengthened its commitment to promoting interdisciplinary education and research oriented towards broadening the scientific areas and institutional fields of cooperation.

2. The Research Group and the Observatory on Crisis and Alternatives
CES is divided in 5 broad research groups: Cities, Cultures, and Architecture; Science, Economy and Society; Democracy, Citizenship and Law; Humanities, Migration and Peace Studies; Social Policies, Labour and Inequalities/POSTRADE. The majority of the CES researchers whose research interests have connections with labour and trade union issues belong to the research group POSTRADE. Among this research group several lines of research can be highlighted, such as: labour relations and trade unionism, social policies for citizenship, classes and social Inequalities, collective action, networks and organizations. The main concern of the group is to maintain the
articulation between academic activities and the permanent intervention on extension actions, working together with social actors. In recent years, POSTRADE researchers participated and members or coordinators in projects such as: the “Middle Class” (funded by Fundação Francisco Manuel dos Santos), which was later developed jointly with researchers from CESIT/ University of Campinas - Brazil; “Information and consultation of workers in multinationals: analysis of the European Works Councils impacts on metallurgic, chemical and financial sectors” (funded by the Interdisciplinary Research Institute of the University of Coimbra); “Social Innovation Portal” (Funded by European Social Fund); “Labour Precariousness, Inequalities and Dynamics of Collective Action” (funded by FCT and CAPES/Brazil, as a result of a bilateral cooperation between CES and the University of São Paulo); “The Contribution of CITE to the Changing Practices at Work” (Funded by CITE, Commission on Equality at Work and Employment); “Evaluation of the integration of the gender perspective in the European structural funds, 2007-2013” (funded by the Portuguese Management Institute of the European Social Fund). The «Observatory on Crisis and Alternatives» was created in the beginning of the current economic and financial crisis, and has been dedicated to study and interfere, together with other social actors, with a critical perspective focussing major attention on the causal dimensions and the structural impacts of the crisis over the world of labour and trade unions. Following analysis and actual data on mainstream economic policies and the growing power of the markets, the main activities have been denouncing the subversion of labour and social rights and excessive flexibility and precariousness of the work force, especially in peripheral societies of Europe, as it is the case of Portugal. This is also one example of the most tightly cooperation between our Centre and civil society organizations. Among our partners of this Observatory we have some trade unions, such as SBC – Sindicato dos Bancários do Centro [Union of Workers of Bank system in the Central Region of Portugal; Sindicato dos Jornalistas [Trade Union of Journalists]; SPGL – Sindicato dos Professores da Grande Lisboa [Teachers Trade Union of the Great Area of Lisbon]; STEC – Sindicato dos Bancários do Grupo Caixa Geral de Depósitos/CGD) [Trade Union of Workers of the Group CGD – Caixa Geral de Depósitos (STEC). Trade Unions and National Confederations (like CGTP-Intersindical and UGT) are entities with whom we work together through different initiatives, regularly, namely offering Advanced Courses directed to leaders, activists and experts of this organizations.

3. The PhD Program on “Labour Relations, Social Inequalities and Trade Unionism”
Since 2008-09, the Program “Labour Relations, Social Inequalities and Trade Unionism” (LABOUR) became part the CES PhD Programs list. Offered biennially, it has been able to fill in the number of students' positions available. Note that a significant part of our students became from the professional world, namely trade union leaders, which is part of a strategic option, to put together “professionals” and “academics”.
LABOUR is an in-depth training in specific skills within areas directly related to work and employment, focusing on issues related to social dialogue and resolution of labour disputes, trade unionism and the labour markets, as well as issues of gender inequality and social inequalities. The advanced training in this field of sociology allows to develop qualifications and competences of excellence in critical assessment, analysis and diagnosis to be applied in the workplace, as well as broaden the scientific knowledge of social sciences in an area that is recognised as being key to the understanding of social transformations, in particular regarding the Portuguese reality, within the European and global context.
Organized in collaboration between CES and FEUC, this doctoral Program intends to contribute to widen scientific knowledge in social sciences regarding key areas for understanding ongoing social transformations in current national and global contexts, as well as to develop qualifications and professional or organizational competences by furthering analysis and critical diagnosis on these subjects. This program originated precisely in the context of the European crisis, since labour relations were put under the major impacts of the new austerity policies, in particular in Portugal and other Southern countries. So, the fact that our team and research Centre (CES) are particularly trained as experts in critical theory as well as social dialogue in the world of work gave us new responsibilities on these debates trying to maintain the balance between the role of trade union movements and representative institutions in order to preserve social cohesion and make compatible labour rights with economic growth and competitiveness.
This is the only Portuguese This is the only Portuguese PhD Programme focused on this specific field of sociology oriented to labour relations, social inequalities and trade unionism. The exceptionality of this programme is recognized by the students themselves (and among the students and potential candidates for this PhD are not only students with an academic profile, based on previous graduate and master degrees, but also on candidates from trade union sectors). This program represents a permanent challenge of critical and analytical scientific requirement on the changes taking place in the world of labour.

4. Some researchers/teachers of both CES and FEUC

[note: this is only a brief selection of researchers with research work and teaching experience on labour issues and/or social inequalities]

António Casimiro Ferreira

Elísio Estanque
Hermes Augusto Costa
Hugo Dias
Manuel Carvalho da Silva
Virgínia Ferreira

Areas of expertise and competencies

Work programme, strategic plan, projects

Publications, language, newsletter

Other networks the institute is participating in