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Um programa de excelência reconhecido internacionalmente

 "I have been associated with the Institute for about half the time of its existence. I have been invited to give lectures at its courses in Lisbon (including presenting an 18 lecture course on The Great Books, as a Calouste Gulbenkian Visiting Professor), and I have also participated regularly in the International Summer Schools during that time.

I have been most impressed with the scope and quality of the Institute's programmes and its students. Both would be a credit to any similar institution anywhere in the world. The fact that much of the work is done in English only adds to the achievement, as it greatly widens the range of the students' work and also enables the participation in the Institute of many distinguished academics and public figures who do not speak Portuguese, but who are (like myself) honoured to be invited to contribute to the work of the Institute. The Institute's students are invariably keen and able and also charmingly polite and appreciative. The Institute's alumni are clearly making their mark in Portuguese public life as a cadre of intelligent young professionals very well grounded in political thought and practice, particularly (though not exclusively) in the thought of the Anglo-American philosophical and political tradition. It should not, though, be overlooked that a significant proportion of its students are non-Portuguese, often diplomats, who are working in Portugal, which both enhances the input into the courses and testifies to the quality of the Institute's work and reputation.

The International Summer Schools, which regularly bring together leading academics and commentators and political figures from several continents and major figures from within Portugal itself, are obviously fantastic events for locals, but they are also greatly appreciated for the invited participants themselves who are able to learn extensively from them.

Personally my association with the Institute over the last few years has been one of the best and happiest developments in my recent career. I hope that both the Institute and my connexion with it will continue to grow and flourish over the next decade, as it has over the past. May I take this opportunity to offer my warmest congratulations to Professor Espada and his devoted collaborators for all that they have achieved and and for their well deserved successes over the last decade. Here's to the next!"

Anthony O'Hear
Weston Professor of Philosophy, University of Buckingham;
Director, The Royal Institute of Philosophy, London

 "The Institute for Political Studies is one of the most important enterprises of its kind in Europe, and indeed in the entire western world. By bringing classical political theory into conversation with the social thought of the Catholic Church, it is preparing a new generation of scholars and citizens to help secure the moral and cultural foundations of western democracy. It has been an honor and a privilege to participate in the Institute's activities, and I look forward to much fruitful work together in the future."

George Weigel
Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center, Washington, DC, USA

 "I visited the Institute several times, and each time I found the experience to be stimulating and educational. Just meeting and discussing political ideas with people from all over the world was a fascinating experience for me. Professor Espada has single-handedly transformed the study of political theory in Portugal. He has brought together scholars from various parts of the world and involved them in discussions of both scholarly and practical theories of politics to the benefit of both Catholic University and the participants themselves. He is to be congratulated for his brilliant directorship of the Institute."

Gordon S. Wood
Brown University, Providence, USA

 "The Institute provides an extraordinary opportunity for students and faculty to share ideas about the sources of prospects of democratic government and to hear from scholars from many countries who have thought deeply about this issue."

James Q. Wilson
UCLA, Oakland, New Zeland


 "Congratulations for the 10th anniversary of the Institute for Political Studies. Its Director has made it into an island of sanity and civility in an unreasonable and rude world. The staff, visitors, and students form a scholarly community dedicated to the reasoned examination of political ideas. I am proud to have been associated with it in a small way."

John Kekes
State University of New Your at Albany, USA


"My experience of the Institute is brief, but entirely positive. In February 2007 I was invited to give a lecture (on Hobbes, international relations theory, and the contemporary world order); this was followed by questions, and a discussion over dinner. I was extremely impressed by the quality of the questions and debate, which came from a range of people with different political views and academic interests - and, I should add, came also in perfect, fluent English. I formed the impression that this Institute is a 'centre of excellence' in both political philosophy and political science, of a kind that is rare in continental Europe."

Noel Malcolm
Senior Research Fellow, All Souls College, University of Oxford

 "The Institute of Politics has been an invaluable meeting place for people of diverse views in highly challenging times.  If 'the West' still has vital meaning, it is partly due to institutions like this one.  With respect to transatlantic relations especially, I know of no organization doing more to promote the values and virtues of liberal democracy."

Susan Shell
Professor and Chair, Department of Political Science, Boston College, MA, USA


"Congratulations on reaching the tenth anniversary of the Institute for Political Studies.  The Institute is a most important contributor to the education of young scholars and has gained international recognition.  It was my privilege to spend two weeks with your students giving lectures and conducting discussions on the political philosophy of Michael Oakeshott.

It was a most enjoyable and rewarding experience from start to finish. The students welcomed me warmly, were very well informed, conversant with a wide range of contemporary scholarship, and excellent participants in the discussions.  They were a pleasure to work with, and their final essays for me were very well done.  They are the guarantee of the future of liberal learning in the next generation.   The facilities and working conditions were also excellent.  In all respects, the Institute is a model of thoughtful learning.  I am very grateful to have been part of it.  You can count on my continued enthusiastic support and encouragement for your work in the future."

Timothy Fuller
Lloyd E. Worner Distinguished Service Professor & Professor of Political Science Colorado College, USA

 "The Institute for Political Studies at the Catholic University of Portugal is one of the liveliest places on the continent of Europe for serious debate on issues of political theory and practice.   It is always a pleasure to participate in their debates."

Timothy Garton Ash
Director, European Studies Centre, St. Anthony's College, Oxford


"I have participated in the annual meeting of the Institute most years in the past ten years.  The Institute is a remarkable body.  It attracts leading academic figures to its annual meetings as well as leading figures from think tanks, policy institutes, foundations and high quality journalism  The presentations and discussions that I have participated in at the Institute have been among the most interesting and rewarding in the whole of my forty years in academic life.  One of the most interesting and engaging aspects of the Institute is the quality of the students it attracts both from Portugal and further afield.  They are engaged and interested in the issues being discussed and think and speak seriously about them but without the atmosphere and the ethos being solemn. One of the joys of coming over a long period has been to see the development of these young leaders of tomorrow.  Year on year they impress as they grow in maturity and intellectual stature. The bodies which sponsor the Institute should feel very proud to have fostered this organisation which has now established itself as a forum within which issues of great intellectual,political and policy interest can be discussed in a non partisan and serious way. 

People go to Davos to listed to business leaders; they are increasingly coming to the Palacio Hotel in Estoril to listen to very influential voices in politics, policy and economics resting on a firm foundation of appropriate theory and analysis where the only thing not allowed is sloppy thinking! Any praise for the Institute must take in the indefatigable figure of Professor Joao Espada. He has played an enormous central role in launching the Institute, giving it initial and immediate intellectual weight, and in attracting the brightest and best of intellectual talent from around the world.  The people of Portugal should take great pride in what has been achieved in the Institute under his inspired leadership.I look forward to may more years of interesting discussions in a context that is now so well established as one of the best exchanges of ideas in the world."

Lord Plant
Professor of Jurisprudence and Philosophy and Head, King's College Law School, Member of the House of Lords and Fellow of St. Catherine's College, Oxford

 "The last 10 years have provided many opportunities to discuss European, American and global issues since the end of the Cold War, and Prof. Espada's Institute for Political Studies has organized some of the best of these.  I have been to countless international meetings at the United Nations, the Vatican, the European Parliament, etc., and I wish they could have been as lively and thought provoking.  There is a great sense of friendship among the regular attendees and the students who participate get to see how serious, civil discussion takes place.  Not to mention the networking and intellectual formation that takes place over port wine. Happy 10th birthday. Ad multos annos!"

Kishore Jayabalan
Director Istituto Acton - Rome, Italy

"It has been a great privilege for me to attend on a regular basis the annual meetings of the Institute of Political Studies, which invariably feature distinguished participants, serious discussion of important matters, and a friendly and lively atmosphere. I have especially enjoyed getting to know many of the Institute's students and watching them over the years mature into deeply educated and thoughtful men and women. Professor Joao Carlos Espada has created an extraordinary academic institution that offers a genuinely liberal education while at the same time addressing the most pressing issues of the day.  The Institute of Political Studies is a world-class institution of which Portugal can be proud."

Marc Plattner
Director of International Forum for Democratic Studies, National Endowment for Democracy, Washington, DC, USA  

"What most impressed me about the Institute was not only the seriousness of its students but the high quality of the faculty assembled - from around the world - to teach them. I doubt that, in a career now extending over forty years, I have ever encountered, in one place at one time, a group of professors to match those brought together by Professor Espada and his colleagues."

Walter Berns
John M. Olin Distinguished Scholar in Constitutional Studies, American Enterprise Institute, Washington, DC, USA 

"I gave a fortnight's seminar at the Institute in October 2002. My subject was the relation between democracy and the moral life, a subject I haves been developing ever since, and which will be finished in book form this year. My thesis was part intellectual history and part conceptual analysis, and I found the students at the Institute attentive and lively. They asked a range of interesting and probing questions. This is one of the areas of intellectual inquiry where lively studesnts can made an intellectual contributioin to a project, and the Institute's students certainly did that for me."

Kenneth Minogue
London School of Economics and Political Sicence, London

"My view of the Institute of Political Studies dates from near the beginning, in March 1999, when my wife Delba and I were invited for a week.  I gave five lectures on Machiavelli to a class of graduate students that I had to admire from the beginning.  Not only did they follow my lectures but they also laughed at the jokes and were able to pose challenging questions to my perhaps strange interpretations.  One of these students, Bruno Macaes, came to study at Harvard afterwards, finishing his Ph D in 2006.  He has been one of the very best students I have ever had.  This was my introduction to the intellectual life of Portugal, impressive indeed.  It was also a chance for my wife and me to improve our acquaintance with Lisbon.  Most of all we were very glad to meet Professor Espada, the founder of the Institute, the man who had the idea that ideas are the most important ingredient of an education."

Harvey Mansfield
Harvard University, Cambrige, MA, USA

"It is with great pleasure and fondness that I recall my participation at an Institute summer seminar a few years ago. The Institute assembled a remarkable group of intellectuals from many nations, and provided an excellent setting in which to discuss common topics of great and interest and importance to the well being of the West. The Institute managed the event with great efficiency and cordiality. I commend the Institute and its director, João Carlos Espada, for launching a seminar that is now widely considered to be one of the major intellectual events of the year and that has done so much to help people get to know and enjoy the country of Portugal."

James W. Ceaser
Professor of Politics, The University of Virginia

"We should all be grateful for the Institute for Political Studies and the warm friendship of João Espada.  Their work in bringing together disparate but like-minded scholars and political thinkers is crucial for continental thought and the trans-Atlantic alliance.  Their educational efforts are an important element in recovering the meaning and coherence of the West."

Matthew Spalding
Director, B. Kenneth Simon Center for American Studies, The Heritage Foundation, Washington, DC, USA

"In a European intellectual landscape grown dull and gray, the Institute for Political Studies is a beacon of light. There, political argument and  thought are alive and well. That's why it's always stimulating to visit the Institute, either in person or through its publications."

William Kristol
Editor, The Weekly Standard, Washington, DC, USA

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Instituto de Estudos Políticos
Universidade Católica Portuguesa
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