About me

Filipe Carreira da Silva holds a permanent full-time position at the Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Lisbon as Senior Research Fellow and is a Fellow of Selwyn College, Cambridge. He is a member of the board in the research committees on sociological theory (RC16) and community research (RC08) of the International Sociological Association (ISA). In 2011, he joined the editorial board of the European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy (EJPAP). His areas of interest include social theory, intellectual history, modern welfare states, comparative historical sociology, and social revolutions. Filipe Carreira da Silva's current work revolves around a neo-pragmatist social theory of rights with reference to the Portuguese experience of social rights constitutionalization in the 1970s.

Filipe Carreira da Silva received a B.A. in Sociology from the Lisbon University Institute/ISCTE (1998), a M.Phil. in Social Sciences from the University of Lisbon (2002), a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Cambridge (2003), and a Habilitation in Sociology from the University of Lisbon (2016). He was Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson College, Cambridge from 2003-2006, and was a Fulbright post-doctoral scholar at Harvard University in 2003-2004. He has visited the University of Chicago several times from 2003-2009, where he worked with Donald N. Levine and Terry N. Clark. Since 2005, he is Research Assistant Professor at the Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Lisbon. In 2009, Carreira da Silva joined the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem as visiting scholar under the sponsorship of S.N. Eisenstadt. More recently, in 2011, he worked as visiting scholar at the Center for Cultural Sociology at Yale University under the sponsorship of Jeffrey C. Alexander. He is the author of the 2010 American Sociological Association's Distinguished Book Award in the History of Sociology, Mead and Modernity.

A social theorist, Filipe Carreira da Silva specializes in American philosophical pragmatism (especially, G.H. Mead and the Chicago school of sociology), twentieth century cultural and critical theory, and historical comparative sociology. His scholarly interests center on the interplay between the theory building and the history of theory, with special regard to the political domain, both institutional (constitutions, rights, political regimes) and socio-cultural (political cultures, social movements). He has written on classical and contemporary social theory (with Patrick Baert), modern welfare regimes’ formation, and more recently on sociology books as cultural objects (with Mónica Brito Vieira). His three current projects investigate (1) the continuing relevance of Mead’s social pragmatist ideas, (2) the causes, consequences, meaning and denial of human rights, and (3) the history of sociological thought from the point of view of the books which helped make it. Underpinning these projects is the insight that social life is defined to a large extent by our encounters with objects as diverse as books, rights or ideas: not merely socially construed, objects such as these are socially constituted in the sense that they constrain as much as they enable human action. This notion of socially constituted objects is a central component of the pragmatic sociological perspective Filipe Carreira da Silva is trying to develop around human agency, institutions and culture.