Programme History

The GIGA has a long tradition of educating young researchers. One of the predecessors of the GIGA Doctoral Programme was the Hamburg International Graduate School for the Study of Regional Powers (HIGS). Established to address, document, and keep pace with the fundamental shifts in the global and regional power structures, the school’s research focused on four major regions of the world: Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

The HIGS was hosted by the GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies and was operated in close cooperation with the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences at the University of Hamburg. In 2008, the two institutions expanded their partnership and established the Regional Powers Network (RPN), which included the University of Oxford and the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po), as well as other research institutions from the regions studied by the RPN. The HIGS doctoral students benefited from this network as it gave them access to some of the top institutions within their geographical areas of research.

Between 2008 and 2012, the graduate school received substantial external funding from the Leibniz Association and the Hamburg State Excellence Initiative, which enabled it to thrive. Eleven outstanding doctoral students participated in the three-year structured programme, which offered a comprehensive curriculum of methodological and conceptual workshops, master classes, and a monthly colloquium. The following doctoral students attended the HIGS between 2009 and 2013:

Name (dissertation title), current position, current institution

  • Abb, Pascal (China’s Foreign Policy Think Tanks: Explaining Institutional Developments and Shifting Roles), Research Fellow, GIGA

  • Burilkov, Alexandr (Maritime Strategies of Regional Powers), Research Fellow, GIGA

  • Carpes, Mariana (From Breadcrumbs to Threads of Wool: Building a Neoclassical Realist Model for the Study of Regional Powers’ Nuclear Choices), Research Fellow, University of Brasília

  • Geise, Torsten (Power in Regional Security Governance Formation: Southeast Asia and the Case of Securing Maritime Trade)

  • Wagner, Maren (née Hoepfner) (Emergence, Complexity, Discourse: A Critical Realist Approach to Institutional Dynamics in East Asia), Coordinator Doctoral Programme, GIGA

  • Never, Babette (Knowledge Systems and Change in Climate Governance: Comparing India and South Africa, 2007–2010), Researcher, German Development Institute, Bonn

  • Peters, Ina (Cohesion and Fragmentation in the Social Movement against Belo Monte: How Frames and Identities promote Movement Dynamics), Research Management, Academy for Spatial Research and Planning

  • Plagemann, Johannes (On the Cosmopolitan Potential of Democratic Regional Powers – Normative Aspects of the Rise of the Rest), Research Fellow, GIGA

  • Scholvin, Sören (The Geopolitics of Regional Powers: How Do Geographical Conditions Influence South Africa’s Regional Economic and Political Relations?), Research Fellow, Institute for Economic and Cultural Geography, University of Hannover

  • Stolte, Christiana (Brazil's Africa Strategy - Stepping Stone to Great Power Status?), Research Fellow, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität-Erlangen (FAU), Chair of International Business and Society Relations with focus on Latin America

  • Wodrig, Stefanie (Discourses of Intervention: The Crises in Burundi and Zimbabwe as Arenas of Regional Politics), Research Fellow, University of Kiel

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Handbook for Doctoral Students