• Gabinete de Investigações Sociais (GIS)

    The history of the ICS began in 1962 with the creation of the Social Research Office (Gabinete de Investigações Sociais - GIS). Founded by Adérito Sedas Nunes, a charismatic figure of Portuguese Sociology, and integrating a small number of bright researchers in Social Sciences whose work combined freedom and innovation in research with a genuine interest in the constraints of Portuguese society, GIS made a considerable impact in a society where Social Sciences were regarded with suspicion. A series of grants from the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian and the government, during the late 60's and early 70's, allowed GIS to expand and to incorporate new researchers. Since the very first moment, GIS started a Library that became the most important research library in Social Sciences in Portugal.

  • Análise Social

    One year later, GIS initiated the publication of Análise Social, the first scientific journal to host Social Science research on Portuguese issues, namely social modernisation, critical dimensions of life courses, educational and economic development processes, as well as the historical dynamics related to them.

  • Decisive Growth

    The political changes of 1974 had a decisive impact in Social Sciences. Benefiting from the return of a number of former exiles, GIS expanded its staff and diversified its research. Contributions on epistemological and methodological issues, as well as a systematic inquiry into the making of the social and political identity of contemporary Portugal, are highlights of this period.

  • AHS - Arquivo de História Social

    In 1979, the AHS - Arquivo de História Social (at that time called Arquivo Histórico das Classes Trabalhadores, or Archive of Working Class History) was established. The Archive hosts donated collections of documents by researchers and other social and political actors, and constitutes a valuable resource for research on issues related to the social history of the contemporary world. 

  • Instituto de Ciências Sociais

    The year of 1982 was an important turning point, since GIS became an organic unit of the Universidade de Lisboa, changing its name to Instituto de Ciências Sociais (ICS). Sociology, History, Anthropology, Demography, Economics, and Social Psychology became the main disciplinary fields of research, combined with a permanent focus on interdisciplinarity, one of the main features of the ICS' research tradition. The impact of the scientific production of the ICS contributed, in different aspects, to the renewal of some of these disciplines.

  • Maria Filomena Mónica and Villaverde Cabral

    Between 1990 and 1991, Maria Filomena Mónica became the President of the Governing Body of the ICS. With a PhD in Sociology from the University of Oxford, she authored several sociological and historical books, actively contributing to several platforms of the Portuguese society.
    During that period, Manuel Villaverde Cabral was the President of the Scientific Council. With a PhD in History from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales de Paris, former Director of the National Library and future Vice-Dean of the Universidade de Lisboa, Villaverde Cabral authored important sociological and historical works on contemporary Portugal.

  • Eduarda Cruzeiro and João de Pina-Cabral

    From 1992 until 2007, the President of the Governing Body was Eduarda Cruzeiro. An important Portuguese sociologist, with a PhD from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Paris), Eduarda Cruzeiro integrated the ICS from its very beginnings, while teaching, at the same time, at ISCTE-IUL. During her years as President of the Governing Body, Manuel Villaverde Cabral was the President of the Scientific Council between 1991 and 1997, and João de Pina-Cabral between 2004 and 2007.
    João de Pina-Cabral is an internationally respected social scientist who has published widely in the field of social anthropology and was Head of School of Anthropology and Conservation at the University of Kent, UK, between 2012 and 2015.
    This was a period in which the ICS changed, in many different ways, its institutional profile. The ICS launches its first post-graduate course - a Master in Social Sciences - with two main lines of research: Culture and Social Change, and History and Sociology of Power Relations.

  • Research and Development Unit

    In 1994, the ICS became an R&D Unit financed by the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia. This funding allowed the expansion of the ICS and its institutional consolidation. Since then, new research projects were developed, the offer of Pstgraduation programmes expanded, editorial projects were lainched, and there was an investment in the expansion of the Library and other infrastructures of the Institute. This was a period of increased internationalization, and widening of research themes which begin to include more and more transnational issues.

  • Social Sciences Press

    The Social Sciences Press (Imprensa de Ciências Sociais), which became the most important Portuguese university press dedicated to research in Social Sciences, is launched. The establishment of the Bolsa Afro-Brasileira de Ciências Sociais (African-Brazilian Fellowship in Social Sciences), in the same year, promoted the stay of several scholars from these regions at the ICS.

  • Manuel Villaverde Cabral

    Manuel Villaverde Cabral became Vice-Dean of the Universidade de Lisboa. At the same time, doctoral programmes in Social Sciences were launched at the ICS.

  • Associated Laboratory

    The ICS was recognised by the Portuguese Ministry of Science as an Associated Laboratory. This allowed the integration of new researchers, the broadening of its research teams, new postgraduate programmes, as well as the strengthening of internationalization. This recognition was associated with the classification of ICS as Excellent by the research assessment developed by international panels in 1996 and 1999. Five research lines organised the individual research developed at the ICS: The Making of Contemporary World; Citizenship and Democratic Institutions; Families, Lifestyles and Education; Identity, Migrations and Religion; and Sustainability: Environment, Risk and Space.

  • New Facilities

    ICS moved to a brand new building, qualified to support its research needs, thus making it possible to develop the broad range of activities that currently characterise the Institute.

  • Manuel Villaverde Cabral and Jorge Vala

    Manuel Villaverde Cabral was elected Director of the ICS in 2007, a position that he held until 2009 when he was elected Vice-Dean of the University of Lisbon. Villaverde Cabral was accompanied by Jorge Vala as President of the Scientific Council, That same year, the ICS commemorated its 25th anniversary as a research institution of the University of Lisbon, broadening its institutional goals, namely research of excellence and international recognition.

  • José Manuel Rolo

    Due to Manuel Villaverde Cabral retirement, José Manuel Rolo, Senior Fellow of ICS and a Portuguese economist with an important track record in government consultancy, occupied the position of Chairman of the Government Board between June and October of 2009. 

  • Jorge Vala

    Jorge Vala was elected Director of the ICS, holding, simultaneously, the office of President of the Scientific Council. A PhD graduate of the University of Louvain, Vala is a social psychologist, specialising in racism issues, migrations, political attitudes, and social justice who has taught in several national and international universities. In 2010, Vala received the Codol Prize of the European Association of Social Psychology and, in 2013, a Career Prize form the Portuguese Association of Psychology.
    During this period, the ICS expanded its doctoral programmes and started the project of a Doctoral School in Social Sciences. The ICS offered several doctoral programmes in the fields of Anthropology, Geography, History, Political Science, Social Psychology, and Sociology, including interuniversity programmes such as the Interuniversity PhD Programme in History: Change and Continuity in a Global World (PIUDHist) and the PhD Programme in Climate Change and Sustainable Development Politics. Additionally, several Summer Schools were launched. 

  • Excelência

    ICS becomes involved in a new process of scientific evaluation and funding, concerning the period of 2015-2020. ICS community was deeply engaged in this process, which increased its reflexivity and internal cohesion. Under the title of Changing Societies: Legacies and Challenges, analysed through the lenses of Inclusion, Citizenship and Sustainability, this programme proposes a research agenda that builds on the Institute's fifty years of excellence and paves the way for a new era as a research unit within the newly-merged University of Lisbon (ULisbon). 

    Inheriting the patrimony of the previous Research Lines, research at ICS is from now onwards reorganized into seven Research Groups: Power, Society & Globalization; Empires, Colonialism & Post-Colonial Societies; Regimes & Political Institutions; Socio-Political Attitudes & Behaviors; Identities, Cultures, Vulnerabilities; Life course, Inequality & Solidarity: Practices and Policies; and Environment, Territory and Society.

    ICS intends to consolidate its position as Center of Advanced Studies and has already been recognised as a School of the University of Lisbon. 

  • 50 anos

    Between 2007 until 2009 (when he left as Vice-Dean of the University of Lisbon), Manuel Villaverde Cabral became the new Chairman of the Government Board. In 2007, and together with Jorge Vala, Chairman of the Scientific Council, Villaverde Cabral commemorated the 25th anniversary of ICS as a research institution of the University of Lisbon, broadening its institutional goals, and focusing on carrying out excellent, internationally recognised research. 

  • José Luís Cardoso

    In 2014, José Luís Cardoso was elected Director of ICS. A former Professor of ISEG, with a PhD in Economics, José Luís Cardoso joined ICS in 2006. An internationally known specialist in the History of Economic Thought, Cardoso collaborates with several national and international universities. Co-editor of the journals The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought and the e-journal of Portuguese History, he is also the coordinator of the Intra-university PhD in History, PIUDHist, as well as President of the European Society for the History of Economic Thought (2014-2016). Previously a Deputy Director of ICS, José Luís Cardoso coordinated the task force that put forward ICS research programme until 2020. 

    At the same time, Ana Nunes de Almeida was elected Chairman of the Scientific Council. Also the coordinator of the Intra-university PhD in Sociology, OpenSoc, former Pro-Dean of the University of Lisbon, Ana Nunes de Almeida is an important Portuguese sociologist, who has published intensively in the areas of family childhood and education. She launched the Observatory on Education (at ICS) and the Observatory of Students' Trajectories (at the University of Lisbon). 

  • Karin Wall

    Karin Wall
    In 2018, Karin Wall - PhD in Sociology (University of Geneva, 1994) and Habilitation for Full Professorship (University of Lisbon, 2010), Researcher Professor, was elected Director of ICS.  
    She has taught at graduate and post-graduate levels since 1980, at ISCTE-IUL and at the Institute of Social Sciences, and has supervised twenty completed PhD theses. Her main areas of specialization are sociology of the family, gender relations, and comparative analysis of social policies and the sociology of migrations. Her research and publications focus on changes in families and gender relations in Portugal and in Europe, work-family balance, parenthood and the role of men in the family, solidarity and social networks over the lifecourse, migrations and the transnational experience, developments in family policies in Europe, and the impact of the crisis on children and family life. She is a founding member of Portuguese Sociological Association (1985) and the European Sociological Association (1992). Between 2003 and 2007, she was in charge of the Research Network on Sociology of Families and Intimate Lives of the European Sociological Association. She has organized research projects and networks at national and international level, in particular for the European Commission’s Framework Programmes and the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT).
    Between 2006 and 2016 she was responsible for the Families, Lifestyles and Educational Attainment research line, and for the Research Group on Practices and Policies in Life Paths, Inequalities and Solidarity. She was a member of various evaluation panels nationally and internationally, at the European Commission (6th FP), the Economic and Social Research Council (UK), the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), the Swiss National Science Foundation (FNS) and the European Research Council (ERC) She chaired the Social Sciences and Humanities panel at the ERC in 2015. In 2016 she coordinated the High Level Group on Evaluation of Science and Technology at the FCT (Ministry of Science Education and Technology). She has worked as an expert on family policies in several European Institutions and Networks since 1994. She was a member of the European Observatory on National Family Policies and of the Committee of Experts on Social Policy for Families and Children of the Council of Europe. She is a member of International Network on Leave Policies and Research. In 2018 she was Visiting Professor at the University of Geneva (Alba Viotto Professorship). She founded the Families and Family Policy Observatory (OFAP), which she headed up until 2018.

    Ana Nunes de Almeida
    In 2018 Ana Nunes de Almeida, Research Professor at ICS-ULisboa, was reappointed Chair of the ICS Scientific Board. 
    Born in Lisbon in April 1957, she is married and the mother of Tiago, Inês and Maria - and the grandmother of Manuel, Xavier and Francisca. She was a student at the Liceu Nacional de Oeiras (1969-74), where she concluded the 3rd cycle pretending to be a researcher in Physics. The 25th April inverted this vocation. She obtained the licence in Sociology in 1979 (at the Fac. des Sciences Économiques et Sociales, Univ. de Genève, CH), the doctorate in 1991 (at the ISCTE, Lisbon), the habilitation in 2009 (Universiy of Lisbon).
    She's a member of the Bureau of the Sociologie de l'Enfance Research Comittee of the Association Internationale des Sociologues de Langue Française, and of the Directive Board of the Research Network on Sociology of Children and Childhood, European Sociological Association. Among her favourite scientific objects are: family and, more recently, childhood and school. She currently develops research about children and disasters, children and animals.

  • Excelence

    Following the 2017/2018 Evaluation of Research and Innovation Units promoted by the Science and Technology Foundation (FCT), an international expert panel reconfirmed the “excellence” of ICS. 
    As a research unit of the University of Lisbon and FCT Associate Laboratory, ICS strengthens and fosters the National Science and Technology System (SCTN), through research, postgraduate and advanced training, outreach, and the development of research and knowledge infrastructures.
    The 2019-2022 ICS Strategic Program – ‘Changing Societies: Legacies and Challenges’ – puts forward a research agenda centred on three (interconnected) themes: Inclusion, Citizenship, and Sustainability.

  • Marina Costa Lobo

    In 2023, Marina Costa Lobo, Research Professor, was elected Director of the ICS-ULisboa. She has a PhD in Political Science from the University of Oxford, with a thesis on the Power of the Prime Minister and the functioning of the Government in democratic Portugal. She is currently a Principal Researcher at the Institute of Social Sciences where she develops work in the area of institutions and political behavior of the Portuguese in a comparative perspective. She has published on political institutions in Portugal, political parties and the EU, and on the impact of leaders on voting behavior. She is currently coordinator of the Portuguese Electoral Behavior, having helped to develop the first post-election surveys carried out in Portugal - having implemented surveys from 2002 to 2019 in all legislative elections. In 2016 she won an ERC- European Research Council-Consolidator Grant. The title of the Project is Mapping and Analyzing the Politicization of the EU before and after the Eurozone Crisis ( In 2018 she won the Scientific Prize from the Universidade de Lisboa/Caixa Geral de Depósitos. She is a member of the Planning Committee of CSES (Comparative Study of Election Systems - In 2021 she became Editor of the European Political Science Review.