The field of comparative regional research (comparative area studies, CAS) has experienced a rapid development in recent years. Scholars have left the beaten track of their own discipline and established international networks. The goal? To gain new insights through comparison – for example, into the legitimacy of authoritarian regimes, the impact of economic crises or the causes of violent conflicts. The premise? The combination of regional expertise and theory.

The GIGA recognised the potential of this still-young field of study many years ago. As one of Europe’s leading research centres for comparative area studies, the GIGA has established itself as a centre of scientific excellence and given CAS a home.


What are comparative area studies? How does the GIGA approach the research topics? An Overview.


Every other year the GIGA gives out an award for the best journal article in comparative area studies.


In the CAS Lecture Series, renowned scholars address concepts, methods and challenges in the field of comparative regional research.


The GIGA coordinates three global research networks that operate across regions and disciplines. The Institutions of Sustainable Peace (ISP) organises and promotes research on institutions that serve to prevent and manage conflict. The Regional Powers Network (RPN) explores the rise of new regional powers in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East and the research network International Diffusion and Cooperation of Authoritarian Regimes (IDCAR) investigates in what ways autocracies in all world regions cooperate with each other.