GIGA German Institute for Global and Area Studies

Leibniz-Institut für Globale und Regionale Studien

The GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies is an independent social science research institute based in Hamburg, Germany. Our mission is to analyse political, social, and economic developments in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, as well as global issues. As a member of the Leibniz Association, we are committed to the Leibniz principle of “theoria cum praxi”: science for the benefit of society.

A Truly Global Approach

The GIGA stands for an approach that is global in content, reach, and structure. It combines in-depth area expertise with comparative, interdisciplinary, and multi-level analysis, generating insights that are relevant from an academic and a real-world perspective. It takes into account the philosophical traditions and historical experiences of all world regions and reaches out to a global audience. We are proud to collaborate with leading institutions and researchers worldwide, and to apply a well-informed, inclusive, and pluralistic view to scholarship and policy. Find out more about our approach and vision (PDF).


The world is in a state of transition. Economies and societies around the globe are becoming increasingly interdependent; rising powers such as China and India are exerting growing influence; and while new opportunities are arising, new forms of terrorism, violence, and conflict are also emerging. Building on its reputation as one of the leading research institutes for Area Studies and Comparative Area Studies, the GIGA is committed to using academic rigour to help make sense of the increasingly complex world situation. Read more about our research.

Knowledge Transfer and Policy Advice

Our researchers are sought-after experts among decision makers in politics, business, and civil society, as well as among media representatives and other stakeholders. Research-based policy advice and knowledge transfer to the wider public are essential elements of our mandate. Thus, not only are our research findings published in the top peer-reviewed academic journals and prestigious university publishing houses, but our outreach activities also include our three well-established publication series and impactful public and exclusive events. Find out more.


The GIGA builds on a rich history of over 50 years of research on Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Middle East related issues. A centre of scientific excellence, the GIGA emerged in 2006 after the restructuring of the German Overseas Institute, which was founded in 1964. With our long-standing record as a source of world-class social-science research, and our hosting of the largest non-university information centre for Area Studies and Comparative Area Studies in Germany, we are a trusted organisation among institutions and partners in Hamburg, in Germany, and within the international scientific community. Find out more.


The GIGA has always been an integral and respected part of Hamburg’s scientific landscape. Described by Hamburg’s First Mayor Olaf Scholz as a valuable institution for the city, we are committed to contribute to a further strengthening of Hamburg’s position as an international hub of knowledge. To foster our exchange with policymakers in the capital, 2009 saw the opening of an additional office in Berlin. Browse our Berlin events.

Funding and Legal Status

The GIGA is jointly funded by the German Federal Foreign Office, the Hamburg Ministry of Science, Research and Equalities, and the other federal states. We also acquire third-party funding in competitive procedures, which accounts for approximately 30 per cent of the total annual budget of approximately 11 million euros.

The GIGA is a foundation under the civil law of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg.


+49 (0)40 - 428 25-593

Neuer Jungfernstieg 21
20354 Hamburg

Regional Institutes

Africa | Asia | Latin America | Middle East

Research Programmes

Accountability and Participation | Peace and Security | Growth and Development | Power and Ideas


Approximately 160, including about 90 academics.


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