CRIA’s project is structured on a commitment with anthropology as a fundamental tool in researching the complex relationships between people and social and cultural life. This commitment articulates itself in a will to understand how people actively transform their world through practice and discourse; how differences are created – ideologically, materially, structurally – resisting ontological and social homogeneity; and how varied connections are continually forged – of and between things, persons, entities – reconfiguring the relations between local and national, macro-regional and global, networks and groups, the ethnographic present and its modes of historical constitution. Research at CRIA aims therefore to produce alternative and nuanced points of view on the world, intervene in larger debates in the field of the social sciences, and engage in public debates through the critical examination of the terms of these debates with a strong commitment to issues of inequality and empowerment.

The consistency of CRIA’s research project is sustained by a composite structure of four research groups complemented by transversal thematic lines and working groups, and supported by four laboratories that accommodate research and advanced training activities. Each of these groups and lines comprises researchers from CRIA’s four institutional divisions and explores autonomous research subjects, contributing to CRIA’s research profile of diversity and independence. However, the groups and lines also converge and dialogue on three main topics: (1) questions of inequality and power; (2) cultural innovation and social creativity; and (3) anthropological production and discourse as modes of critical engagement with and intervention in society. While the first two topics stem from the specific concerns of each group, the third topic regards the strengthening of the role of anthropology in the public sphere.

As a research strategy, CRIA seeks to consolidate the work developed by each group and line by emphasising their common theoretical and methodological bases, incentivizing the national and international publishing of research results, and hosting and encouraging multi-disciplinary, international and inter-institutional research projects.