© Frank Eberhard
Gas, oil, lithium – Latin America is rich in natural resources. For several years these have brought about an economic boom, leading the region to greater independence in international politics. But the fall in commodity prices has put a strain on many economies, and advances in the fight against poverty are being called into question. Latin America continues to be marked by social contrasts, violence, and conflicts. Corruption, mafia-like structures, and public insecurity dominate life – and spark social protests - in many countries. In response to these conditions, social protest and political resistance are mounting.
The GIGA Institute for Latin American Studies (ILAS) has researched political and economic developments in the countries of South and Central America and the Caribbean since 1962. Its main research topics include the quality of political institutions and new approaches to political participation – including mobilisation on the basis of ethnic identities – as well as the challenges posed by conflict and crime. The researchers also study transnational migration, the economic and social impacts of climate policies, and the relationship between Latin America and the EU, as well as the strategies of emerging powers (especially Brazil) and the establishment of new regional organisations such as the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).
Through the many years of cooperation with research institutions from the region, the ILAS has established itself as an interface for European–Latin American research. Under the umbrella of the GIGA, ILAS is a founding member of numerous national and international research organisations and board member of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Deutsche Lateinamerikaforschung (ADLAF - German Association of Latin American Studies). It also publishes the internationally recognised, refereed Journal of Politics in Latin America and is co-publisher of the inter-disciplinary journal Iberoamericana.
GIGA Focus Latin America, 07/2020