Conicyt confirmed the continuity of the Centre for Social Conflict and Cohesion Studies (COES) until 2023.
The Centre, well-known for its interdisciplinary work in the field of Social Sciences, has received a confirmation of funding by the Fondo de Financiamiento de Centros de Investigación en Áreas Prioritarias (Fund to finance research centres in prioritarian area, Fondap) for another period of five years, to continue its research focalized in the main problematics of the country.
COES, centre formed by the Universidad de Chile, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Universidad Diego Portales and Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez, has more than 70 researchers of many disciplines, such as Economy, Sociology, Political Science, Psychology, Geography, among others. The researchers are currently working in more than 10 universities in Chile.
During its first period (2014 – 2018), COES has generated a total of 189 ISI publications, more than 20 books and four international conferences of the highest level on social sciences. Along with this outstanding production of academic material, the Centre has created two observatories: Observatorio de Conflicto (Conflict Observatory) and Observatorio de Huelgas Laborales (Observatory of Labor Strikes) in collaboration with Universidad Alberto Hurtado. Besides that, COES has developed over the last three years the Estudio Longitudinal Social de Chile, a panel survey that’s unique in South America. All those things have put COES on a high position and its researchers as referents on the social sciences area on a national level.
Dante Contreras, COES director, highlights some of the learnings from this first era: “to create a dialog between different disciplines and different universities, that is what made us generate an intellectual construct that never existed before. We’ve learnt to work interdisciplinarily and interinstitutionally, from what we’ve done with the other universities”.
At the same time, he says that something that stands out is that the academic community in Chile is very narrow, so “the only way to survive and being relevant in international terms is with innovative politics. In that sense, COES represents an innovative effort that, on the mind of the evaluators, successful. That’s why they recommend that we continue working for another five years period.”
In this second period, COES will be dedicated to enhance some topics like migration, gender and elites studies. The next challenge is to consolidate a research network in South America, to generate and to have influence on public policies and to create an open data platform, being the only one of it’s kind in the country.