​CEPS results from the natural evolution of the Political Theory Group in operation since 2008 at the Centre for Humanistic Studies of the Institute of Arts and Humanities at the University of Minho. Its accumulated experience has motivated the creation, by virtue of its own dynamics and gradual diversification and enlargement, of a community of researchers bringing together University of Minho professors, professors from other universities, post-doctoral researchers and PhD students.

CEPS is a research centre in Philosophy open to contributions from other social and human sciences. CEPS is the only research centre in Portugal specializing in the areas of Political Theory and Applied Ethics. The theoretical paradigms used are those of Ethics and Political Philosophy. These paradigms have undergone a remarkable evolution since the 1970s, establishing today a framework of investigation easily recognizable and with a considerable autonomy in relation to other philosophical disciplines. CEPS's distinctive ethical-political perspective is focused on social institutions rather than individual behaviours. CEPS's researchers are particularly interested in studying and evaluating specific types of institutions and practices in the contemporary world from the ethical-political perspective: those of constitutional democracy, those of social justice and those of technological intervention and their relation with the quality of life of populations. The study of these practices is carried out, respectively, within the framework of theories of political legitimacy, normative conceptions of social justice, ethics applied to technology and populations, with a special concern regarding the historical reconstruction of all these theoretical frameworks.