Portuguese Foreign Policy

Academic year
Subject Area
Área Científica do Menor
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
1st Cycle Studies

Recommended Prerequisites

Knowledge of Contemporary Portuguese History and basic knowledge of foreign policy analysis.

Teaching Methods

The course combines lectures and seminars in which students are expected to discuss papers or book chapters on the issue. They will be required to participate in the seminars, and present the research they are conducting on a given foreign policy topic. Indeed, students are expected to develop their research skills when preparing for the essay they will have to submit by the end of term. They will also be expected to follow the evolution of Portugal’s foreign policy on a daily basis, as they will also have to submit a portfolio.

Learning Outcomes

Overall objectives

This curricular unit has as its main goal to provide the students with the necessary analytical tools to understand the most relevant dimensions of Portugal’s foreign policy. The students should also be able to acquire a good historical knowledge of Portuguese foreign policy and thus be able to better understand how it has evolved in recent decades.

Specific competencies and objectives

-  To understand the theoretical, as well as ideological debates, that are at the centre of Portugal’s foreign policy.

-  To be able to historically contextualise the evolution of Portugal’s foreign policy.

-  To be able to identify the main strategic pillars of Portugal’s foreign policy.

Generic competencies

Development of the following competencies: capacity of analysis and synthesis, reading comprehension in English, ability to work in groups.

Work Placement(s)



1.   Key aspects of Portuguese foreign policy

1.1  The theoretical debate

1.2  The political debate

2.   Portugal and international organizations

2.1  Portugal and NATO

2.2  Portugal and the UN

2.3  Portugal and the EU

3.   Portugal and the great powers

3.1  Portugal and the US

3.2  Portugal and Russia

3.3  Portugal and China

4.   Portugal and the regional priorities

4.1  Mediterranean

4.2  Africa

4.3  South America

5.   The future of Portuguese foreign policy

Assessment Methods

Final Assessment
Exam: 100.0%

Continuous Assessment
Participation (10%), essay presentation (20%): 30.0%
Test: 30.0%
Tinal essay: 40.0%


Brito, Nuno Filipe, “Política Externa Portuguesa. O Futuro do Passado”, Relações Internacionais, 5, 2005.

Franco, Manuela (coord.), Portugal, Os Estados Unidos e a África Austral, Lisboa: Fundação Luso-Americana e IPRI, 2006

Magalhães, José Calvet de e outros, Portugal, Paradoxo Atlântico, Lisboa: Fim de Século Edições, 1993 (327 MAG)

Pinto, António Costa (coord.), Portugal Contemporâneo, Madrid: Editiones sequitur, 2000  (946…..)

Política Externa e Política de Defesa de Portugal Democrático (vários), Lisboa: Edições Colibri, 2001 (946.9.07 CUR)

Telo, António José, Os Açores e o Controlo do Atlântico, Lisboa: Edições ASA, 1993 (327 TEL)

Teixeira, Nuno Severiano, “Portugal” in Maria Raquel Freire (org.), Política Externa. As Relações Internacionais em Mudança, Coimbra: Imprensa da Universidade de Coimbra, 2011.

Visões de Política Externa Portuguesa (vários), Lisboa: Sociedade de Geografia de Lisboa e Instituto Diplomático do MNE, 2005 (ISBN: 972-98963-4-8)