Advanced Theoretical Seminar II
Cod: 23002
Department: DCET
ECTS: 7.5
Scientific area: Environmental Sciences | Social Sciences
Total working hours: 195
Total contact time: 33

This seminar, composed of 3 topics, aims to provide some thoughts on possible ways to promote a more sustainable development. The Social Capital, Citizenship and Environment module focuses on the concept of social capital to analyze the participation of citizens and communities in the promotion of sustainable development. A variety of analytical proposals on this concept are explored in order to understand how social capital is an essential resource for the exercise of active citizenship in a context of civil societies dynamics with a view to improving the quality of life and development Sustainable development. Bridges with the concepts of citizenship, governance and democracy are established to debate and reflect on the role of social actors in the construction of a common future, which articulates and conciliates the promotion of quality of life and sustainable development. This reflection is anchored in the analysis of cases that illustrate the mobilization of social capital. The module Science, Education and Sustainability discusses prevailing values and social / economic / political relations as a cause of unsustainability. A different view on how to consume, produce, intervene and regulate is only possible with profound and structural changes in the conception of human and social development. The key to changing attitudes and behaviours is education for sustainable development. But this also presupposes new ways of approaching scientific knowledge, privileging multidisciplinary and integrative perspectives such as those adopted in Sustainability Science. The Economy and Development module begins with a brief introduction to the history of economic development (using themes such as the North / South dichotomy, various theoretical traditions about the development problem, and recent trends in the global economy). In a second phase, the various concepts of development indices of Amartya Sen and the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI / HDI) will be analyzed and discussed. It also addresses the issue of common resources and the latest developments and studies after the seminal paper by Gareth Hardin. At the end of this module, doctoral students should be able to reflect and debate ideas about the most relevant aspects of economic development and relate them to the themes of common resources, the concept of human development and the concept of sustainability (weak and strong).

Social capital
Citizenship and Environment
Education for Sustainability
Economy and Development

In the end of this course, doctoral students should be able to reflect on the role of social capital, citizenship, science, education, and different economic and development paradigms for the promotion and application of sustainable development.


  • Social Capital, Citizenship and Environment 
  • Science Education and Sustainability  
  • Economy and Development 

Azeiteiro, U.M., Leal Filho, W., Caeiro, S., (Eds.) 2014. “E-learning and Education for Sustainability", in Communication and Sustainability, Peter Lang.

Dasgupta, P.; Serageldin, I. (Eds.) (2000) Social capital: a multifaceted perspective. Washington, D.C.: The World Bank.

Disterheft, A., Caeiro, S., Azeiteiro, U.M., Leal Filho, W., 2013. Sustainability Science and Education for Sustainable Development in Universities – a way for transition, in CAEIRO, S., LEAL FILHO, W., JABBOUR, C.J.C., AZEITEIRO, U.M., (Eds) 2013. "Sustainability Assessment Tools in Higher Education Institutions - Mapping Trends and Good Practices Around the World", Springer.

Jupille, J.; Caporaso, J. A. (2022). Theories of institutions. Cambridge University Press.

Leal Filho, W., Azeiteiro, U.M., Caeiro, S., Alves, F., (Eds.) 2015. "Integrating Sustainability Thinking in Science and Engineering Curricula: Innovative Approaches, Methods and Tools" in the series "World Sustainable Development Series". Springer.

Marconatto, D. A.; Pedrozo, E. A. (2013) “Capital social: visão integrada”, Revista Brasileira de Gestão e Desenvolvimento Regional, Vol. 9, 2: 154-181.

Schrank, Andrew. (2023) The Economic Sociology of Development (Economy and Society) Londres, Polity.

Tang, S. (2022). The Institutional Foundation of Economic Development. Princeton University Press.


Students' evaluation is made on individual basis and it is 100% continuous assessment. Further information is detailed in the Learning Agreement of the course unit. As defined by the teaching team in articulation with the coordination of the Doctoral Program.

Some readings may be in English.