The creation of NECI seeks to bring together a group of top-notch scholars with shared research interests. The main goal is to bring together within the Center researchers from the Center for Metropolitan Studies, along with professors from the Department of Political Science, the Department of Sociology, and the Institute of International Relations.

Three academic motivations are behind this initiative of proposing this Center creation:

(i) to create an interdisciplinary world-class research team capable of bringing together the theoretical contribution of different disciplines with a shared commitment to comparative analysis and strong ties to research institutions around the world.

(ii) to implement a broad research agenda aiming at handling several theoretical challenges associated to the fact that current performance of Brazilian democratic regime and socio development challenge mainstream interpretation of the country's future. Stable democracy, economic growth, inequality reduction, and a new role in the international scenario were hardly accepted by social science literature thus far. All these chances require innovative and comparative analysis;

(iii) to continuously strengthen the methodological skills of our member faculty, as well as to train a new generation of social scientists in the most advanced cutting-edge techniques available worldwide. At the level of student training, we seek to institutionalize existing training programs such as the IPSA Summer School on Concepts and Methods in Political Science and International Relations, deepen the reach of these programs to students from Brazil and the rest of world, and augment the quantity of couses offered to faculty and doctoral students alike. We seek both to train a new generation and to create international networks of scholars who recognize the University of São Paulo as the premiere academic setting in Latin America for social science research.

The main center research subjects will be:

- the connections between recent Brazil transformation and the way social sciences usually treated these questions;

- electoral competition, democracy and the performance of Brazilian democracy;

- space structure, political/social conflicts, and public policies;

- federal state, place inequality and citizenship;

- federalism and trade policy;

- employment and labor markets;

- space production, urban poverty and urban governance;

- foundations of domestic/international South-South coalitions;

- interdependence and political cooperation in international organizations.