The Graduate Program in International Relations offered by the Institute of International Relations at PUC-Rio consists of both Masters and Doctorate degrees. Our Master’s program has a leading role in the training of specialized professionals in international politics and International Relations, while our Doctorate program has been cemented as one of the main references for the education of high-level professionals for employment in undergraduate and graduate IR courses in Brazil. Between 1987 and 2020, the Program graduated 304 (three hundred and four) Masters in IR and 56 (fifty-six) Doctors in IR, totaling the training of 360 (three hundred and sixty) graduates.
In 2008, the Institute created its lato sensu Graduate Program, whose experience would create the conditions for the establishment, in 2016, of its Professional Master’s Degree in International Policy Analysis and Management (MAPI).
The history of our Academic Graduate Program is closely intertwined with that of IRI’s itself, created almost a decade earlier, in 1979, as a Complementary Unit of the Center for Social Sciences at PUC-Rio, and characterized by a strong emphasis on graduate-level teaching and research since its inception.
Inaugurated as a center of reflection on international relations, between 1983 and 1986, IRI incorporated teaching activities in PUC-Rio’s Master’s Degree in Legal Sciences within the “Law and International Relations” line of research.
The Institute was a pioneer in the creation and promotion of research in the field of IR in Brazil, underscored by the launch, in 1985, of the academic journal Contexto Internacional, which has consolidated itself as one of the main journals in the field in the country.
On the heels of its research and teaching experience in graduate courses, with the consolidation of its Master’s degree in 1987, and with the creation, in 2001, of the field’s first Doctoral program in Brazil, IRI established, in 2003, its undergraduate course in International Relations, which quickly consolidated itself as one of the most important courses in the country. In 2008, the Institute created its lato sensu Graduate Program, whose experience would create the conditions for the establishment, in 2016, of its Professional Master’s Degree in International Policy Analysis and Management (MAPI).
In 2010, IRI created the BRICS Policy Center (BPC), internationally recognized as one of the ten leading university-associated think tanks in the world. In 2013, the Institute created the Global South Unit for Mediation (GSUM), a platform for research, teaching and learning on peacebuilding and conflict resolution. In 2015, with the experience accumulated from previous years participating in doctoral workshops in International Political Sociology organized within an international consortium of globally renowned Universities (such as, for example, Kings College, University of London; and SciencesPo, Paris), IRI established the International Political Sociology Winter School, with the objective of fostering teaching, research and training in this new field of IR.
In 2015, the Institute also created the Methodology Laboratory, as a space for training, reflection and production of knowledge on methods and methodologies in IR. The lab aims, among more specific objectives, to develop and support research in the field guided by the search for innovation, experimentation and creativity. In the same year, the creation of an Interinstitutional Doctorate Program (DINTER) was approved between IRI/PUC-Rio and the Federal University for Latin American Integration (UNILA). Recently, in 2018, IRI spearheaded the establishment of the Cátedra Sérgio Vieira de Mello at PUC-Rio in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) with the objective of promoting education, research, and extension activities around the topic of refuge. In 2020, IRI played a leading role in establishing the Center for Democracy and Armed Forces Studies (NEDEFA) at PUC-Rio, an interdisciplinary center dedicated to teaching, research and promoting extension activities on the role of the military in Brazilian society and politics.
Our Master’s program has a leading role in the training of specialized professionals in international politics and International Relations, while our Doctorate program has been cemented as one of the main references for the education of high-level professionals for employment in undergraduate and graduate IR courses in Brazil. Between 1987 and 2020, the Program graduated 304 (three hundred and four) Masters in IR and 56 (fifty-six) Doctors in IR, totaling the training of 360 (three hundred and sixty) graduates.
Coordinator: Andrea Hoffmann
Deputy Coordinator: Kai Michael Kenkel
Mestrado Profissional em Análise e Gestão de Políticas Internacionais (MAPI)
Coordinator: Paulo Esteves
Deputy Coordinator: Carlos Frederico Coelho
IRI/PUC-Rio | UNILA
Coordinator: Andrea Hoffmann
Concentration Areas and Lines of Research
IRI/PUC-Rio’s Graduate Program is situated within the International Politics concentration area and is articulated around three main Research Lines: (i) Architecture of the International System, (ii) Conflict, Violence and Peacemaking, and (iii) Globalization, Governance and Development. These research lines address, jointly and transversally, the various agendas and issues in the field of International Politics and in the discipline of IR. They seek to reconfigure IR’s traditional topics of emphasis (security; international political economy; foreign policy; and international institutions) and contribute to the articulation of different readings and approaches to research and intervention.
Since its last overhaul in 2018, IRI/PUC-Rio’s Graduate Program has been refining and transversely rearranging its lines of research in alignment with PUC-Rio’s Institutional Development Plan (PDI) and Institutional Internationalization Plan (PII), in order to assert itself as a space for I interdisciplinary and plural critical thinking envisioning an education steered by the constant search for excellence, social transformation and the production of innovative knowledge.
Architecture of the International System
This research line deals with the structures, agents, norms and processes of the modern international system. The researches and disciplines in this line address the processes that form the system and the constitution of its agents, with particular emphasis on the State, non-state actors and institutions, and their different practices and functions. This line also brings together the conceptual debates, the normative provisions and the hierarchies and inequalities that constitute and regulate the international system.
Conflict, Violence and Peacemaking
This line of research has conflicts in the international/global sphere, processes of negotiation, resolution and administration of conflicts, as well as those of post-conflict reconstruction and reconciliation as its main objects of study and research. Disciplines and projects in this line of research study the different forms of violent conflict in contemporary world politics, both in terms of their material and practical aspects, as well as institutional and legitimation aspects.
Globalization, Governance and Development
This line of research brings together research and disciplines that address the problem of the spatiotemporal articulation of globality or the global as a sphere of international political practices. In this sense, the projects and disciplines from this line of research deal with theoretical approaches about the processes of construction of the global and its governance, the concept of development as a sphere of action, as well as the economic, political, social, cultural transformations that drive or arise from these processes.
Working Groups (WGs)
With the objective of bringing together students and teachers in joint and innovative research in these areas, 05 (five) Working Groups were created:
Among other teaching and research activities, theoretical-conceptual disciplines of basic and advanced training are articulated around the WGs in each of these thematic sub-areas of IR, allowing constant updating on topics and collaboration in the construction of joint research agendas.
Norms, Rules, and International Institutions
Security, Conflict, Violence, and Peacemaking
Globalization, Development, and International Political Economy
Identity, Otherness, and Resistance in the Local and in the Global
Space, Movement, and Resistance
Program Proposal, Institutional Development Plan, and Strategic Planning
In March 2021, IRI established the guidelines that set in motion the process of preparing the Institute’s Institutional Development Plan (PDI). Using PUC-Rio’s PDI as a reference, the Institute’s General Committee put forward the guidelines that should steer this process, which should end at the end of 2021.
According to these guidelines, IRI/PUC-Rio’s activities must be guided by the ternary structure that characterizes Brazilian universities and affirms the inseparability of teaching, research and extension activities. Based on PUC-Rio’s pedagogical guidelines and institutional objectives, the Institute’s General Commission reaffirmed IRI’s mission of promoting academic and professional training of excellence, oriented towards the generation of relevant knowledge about changes in the international system and its repercussions at local, national, regional and global levels.
In this regard, IRI steers itself towards:
- An education of excellence, which links academic solidity and critical thinking, aimed at understanding the international system’s dynamics and its impacts on Brazilian society;
- Research and production of innovative and relevant scientific knowledge about the ongoing changes in the international system, with emphasis on understanding the role and place of Brazil and other countries from the Global South within this system in order to achieve social, economic, technological and environmental development, particularly in Latin America; and
- Public impact aimed at generating positive economic and social outcomes for Brazilian society related to its international insertion, in particular through the contribution to public policies at the local, national, regional and global levels.
In line with PUC-Rio’s principles and objectives, the Institute of International Relations, in its Strategic Plan, rests its philosophical and epistemological assumptions and its mission on the conceptions of society, human being and education that characterize PUC-Rio’s identity and support its pedagogical guidelines. Thus, while respecting diversity, tolerance and seeking equality of opportunities for everyone, IRI’s Graduate Program in International Relations aims to contribute to the transformation of the world, of the region from within which it operates, and Brazilian society, in order to build fairer realities, free from the various inequalities and asymmetries (socio-environmental, racial, gender, national, regional, international, among others) prevalent today.
Striving for the integral development of the human person, IRI/PUC-Rio’s Graduate Program wishes to assert itself as a space for interdisciplinary and plural critical thinking in order to reflect on the challenges and opportunities to human development in the world, region, and country, contributing towards the education of individuals and a society committed to the defense of Human Rights and conscious of the need for social inclusion and the ethnic-racial issues that permeate human and social relations locally, nationally, regionally and globally.
Aimed at an education steered by the constant pursuit of excellence and social transformation, the IRI’s Graduate Program places its academic potential and its teaching and research activities at the service of the community, as a source of critical reflection and production of innovative knowledge. Conceiving education as a process of interdisciplinary dialogue of permanent innovation, the Program wishes, as does PUC-Rio, to train “professionals and researchers capable of examining and questioning the reality and context that surround them, building answers and solutions to society’s problems” (PUC-Rio, PDI 2018-2022, 2018, p.13).