Skip to main content
European Commission logo print header

Strange Mirrors, Unsuspected Lessons: Leading Europe to a new way of sharing the world experiences


Europe sits uncomfortably on the idea that there are no political and cultural alternatives credible enough to respond to the current uneasiness or malaise caused by both a world that is more and more non-European and a Europe that increasingly questions what is European about itself. This project will develop a new grounded theoretical paradigm for contemporary Europe based on two key ideas: the understanding of the world by far exceeds the European understanding of the world; social, political and institutional transformation in Europe may benefit from innovations taking place in regions and countries with which Europe is increasingly interdependent. I will pursue this objective focusing on four main interconnected topics: democratizing democracy, intercultural constitutionalism, the other economy, human rights (right to health in particular).
In a sense that the European challenges are unique but, in one way or another, are being experienced in different corners of the world. The novelty resides in bringing new ideas and experiences into the European conversation, show their relevance to our current uncertainties and aspirations and thereby contribute to face them with new intellectual and political resources. The usefulness and relevance of non-European conceptions and experiences un-thinking the conventional knowledge through two epistemological devices I have developed: the ecology of knowledges and intercultural translation. By resorting to them I will show that there are alternatives but they cannot be made credible and powerful if we go on relying on the modes of theoretical and political thinking that have dominated so far. In other words, the claim put forward by and worked through this project is that in Europe we don’t need alternatives but rather an alternative thinking of alternatives.

Call for proposal

See other projects for this call


Colegio s jeronimo praca d dinis
3000 995 Coimbra

See on map

Continente Centro (PT) Região de Coimbra
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
João Paulo Dias (Mr.)
Principal investigator
Boaventura De Sousa Santos (Prof.)
EU contribution
€ 2 423 140,00

Beneficiaries (1)