German Institute of Global and Area Studies

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German Institute of
Global and Area Studies
Founded1964 (as German Overseas Institute)
TypeFoundation under civil law
FocusPolitics, economics and society in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East; global connections
Area served
MethodArea and comparative area studies
Key people
Amrita Narlikar (President since 2014)

The GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies is a German research institute. It analyses political, economic and social developments in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East and combines this analysis with innovative comparative research on international relations, development and globalisation, violence and security, and political systems. The GIGA advises the Federal Foreign Office and other branches of the federal government. Since 2009 it has had an office in Berlin.[1]

The GIGA is a member of the Leibniz Association.

The GIGA in Hamburg, Neuer Jungfernstieg 21.


The GIGA a leading international research institute for area studies and comparative area studies.[citation needed] It employs approximately 160 people, 90 of whom are political scientists, economists, social scientists, peace and conflict researchers, or historians. The GIGA’s research is organised according to a matrix structure.[2] The academics study the four global regions of[3]

  1. Africa,
  2. Asia,
  3. Latin America, and
  4. the Middle East

and simultaneously work within the four research programmes on the following issues:[4]

  1. Accountability and Participation,
  2. Peace and Security,
  3. Growth and Development, and
  4. Power and Ideas.


The GIGA was founded in 1964 as the German Overseas Institute (Deutsches Übersee-Institut) by the City of Hamburg and the Hamburg business community. It was initially the umbrella organisation for the Institute of Asian Affairs, the German Orient Institute, the Institute of Latin American Affairs and the Institute of African Affairs.

In the first decade of this century the German Overseas Institute underwent a transformation that saw the previously relatively autonomous regional institutes united as the GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies/Leibniz-Institut für Globale und Regionale Studien in 2007. Only the German Orient Institute did not take part in the fusion. However, the GIGA had already hired many of its employees.[5]

The GIGA collaborates with numerous renowned universities, research institutes and expert associations around the world. It is represented on the boards of various academic networks, particularly those related to Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.[6][7][8][9]

The GIGA is a foundation under civil law and is based in Hamburg. It is jointly funded by the Federal Foreign Office, the Hamburg Ministry of Science and Research and the other federal states. The GIGA also receives external funding, which accounts for around 25 per cent of the total budget.[10]

Since 2014, Prof. Dr. Amrita Narlikar is the president of the GIGA. Together with the president, the GIGA executive board comprises Asia researcher Prof. Dr. Patrick Köllner (GIGA vice president), Middle East academic Dr. André Bank, Africa academic Prof. Dr. Matthias Basedau, Latin America expert Prof. Dr. Sabine Kurtenbach and Head of Finance, Dr. Peter Peetz.

International Networks[edit]

The GIGA serves as the central coordinator of various academic networks.

The Institutions for Sustainable Peace (ISP)[11] network undertakes research on measures to promote peace in post-war societies with partners from Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, England and Germany.

The Land Matrix project[12] is an online platform that collects global data on large-scale land acquisitions. The GIGA maintains the platform and evaluates the data.[13]

The academics in the Regional Powers Network (RPN)[14] are studying the global rise of the new regional powers. This is a joint project of the GIGA, the University of Oxford and Sciences Po, Paris.

As of July 2014 the GIGA is coordinating the International Diffusion and Cooperation of Authoritarian Regimes (IDCAR) network,[15] as part of which it is investigating, together with 12 international research institutes, the influence of and cooperation between authoritarian regimes on the international stage.


The GIGA publishes three open access series: the GIGA Focus, the GIGA Working Papers, and the GIGA Journal Family.

  • In the GIGA Focus series[16] academics publish short analyses of current global events. The German editions comprise four different regional series (Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East) and the GIGA Focus Global, which covers comparative and global topics. Each edition is published 10 times per year. The GIGA also publishes the GIGA Focus International Edition in both English and Chinese.
  • The GIGA Working Papers[17] publish the results of research projects currently underway.
  • Through the GIGA Journal Family[[18] the GIGA publishes articles by academics from around the world. The following journals are part of the journal family:

In addition, the GIGA collaborates with other institutions to publish the Iberoamericana journal and the Africa Yearbook series.


External links[edit]