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Cooperation | 20/04/2020

New Merian Centre for Advanced Studies in Tunis

The GIGA is taking part in the establishment of a Merian Centre for Advanced Studies in the Maghreb (MECAM) in Tunis. This research centre will be dedicated to the study of processes of social change as a result of the Arab protest movements of 2011.


    An internationally oriented institute for interdisciplinary research and scholarly exchange, the Merian Centre for Advanced Studies in the Maghreb (MECAM) will be dedicated to the study of complex processes of social change. This is to take place within five research clusters: inequality & mobility, memory & justice, aesthetics & cultural practices, resources & sustainability, and identities & beliefs. Among other things, a fellowship programme will be established in Tunis that will bring together scholars from Europe, the Maghreb states, the Middle East, and beyond, providing them with a framework to work freely, exchange ideas on research questions and theories, and create academic networks.

    The new MECAM is being set up as a cooperative project between the GIGA in Hamburg, Philipps University of Marburg, the Forum Transregionale Studien in Berlin, the Institut Tunisien des Études Stratégiques (ITES), the University of Leipzig, the Université de Tunis, and the Université de Sfax. Dr. André Bank and Dr. Thomas Richter, both Senior Research Fellows at the GIGA Institute for Middle East Studies, are coordinating the project on the GIGA’s behalf.

    The Maria Sibylla Merian Centres for Advanced Studies, which are funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF), are international research colleges that aim to advance the internationalisation of the humanities and cultural and social sciences. Merian Centres already exist in India, Mexico, Brazil, and Ghana.