Hamburg, 10.07.2015. The Leibniz Association Senate has awarded superb marks to the German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA) / Leibniz-Institut für Globale und Regionale Studien. In a statement published yesterday, the Leibniz Association writes that the GIGA "has developed outstandingly in recent years" and rates the institute’s performance in research and knowledge transfer as "very good and, in part, excellent". Based on its competence on the regions Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, which has been accrued over decades, the institute is successfully conducting cross-cutting research on globally relevant topics. The comparison of political, social and economic developments in the world regions with the approach of Comparative Area Studies is highlighted as a unique feature of the GIGA.
Each Leibniz institute is evaluated by an independent review board as a rule every seven years. To this end, 11 international experts came to the GIGA in Setember 2014. Their report commends the high volume of third-party funding raised, the publications' successes enjoyed in recent years, the Open Access journals of the GIGA Journal Family, and the support given to younger scholars in the context of the GIGA Doctoral Programme.
The report highlights, among other topics, the GIGA’s research on authoritarian regimes: "Particularly in comparative research on authoritarianism, researchers have earned themselves a place on the international research landscape." The GIGA’s work in peace and conflict research was also seen as a source of inspiration for international debates. In addition, the report extolled the GIGA’s tackling of relevant cross-country and cross-regional topics – such as "land-grabbing" and the social and economic consequences of climate change – in an interdisciplinary manner and in close collaboration with partners on the ground. "Furthermore, the impact of global trends on regional developments as well as, vice versa, the influence of regional developments on global trends is investigated systematically with very interesting outcomes," write the evaluators. The rise of new powers is a central research topic at the GIGA.
"We are delighted with the positive results of the evaluation," says President Prof. Amrita Narlikar of the GIGA. "The collective efforts of Team GIGA have been key to achieving the institute’s international reputation. The Senate’s statement is strongly supportive of the GIGA’s past achievements and also future aspirations. We look forward to making the GIGA more ‘giga’ in both senses of the word. First, to develop further the institute’s unique profile and contribute to a more pluralistic worldview and truly global scholarship. And second, to ensure that the GIGA’s research has an even bigger impact on policy and public debates. With the continued support of the Federal Foreign Office and the Hamburg Senate, we are confident that the GIGA will be able to achieve its full potential over the next few years."
Hamburg’s deputy mayor and senator of science and research, Katharina Fegebank, is equally pleased with the results: "With its excellent research on the burning questions of our time, the GIGA is solidifying Hamburg as an important scholarly location. The Hanseatic city especially profits from the institute’s worldwide reach and its relations with international partners."
The GIGA’s strong interchange within the political and public spheres is also highlighted in the Leibniz Association Senate’s statement. Dr. Thomas Bagger, head of the Policy Planning Staff at the Federal Foreign Office, confirms this, saying: "Our exchange with the GIGA, which is grounded in its excellent research, is of utmost value. Because of the independence of its researchers and their deep level of expertise, the institute is showing us new perspectives on global developments."
Background Each Leibniz institute is regularly evaluated, at the latest every seven years. Internationally renowned experts, who are briefed through written documents and an on-site evaluation visit, rate the performance and structures of the institute. Only those who are not active at any Leibniz institute can sit on the commissions tasked with rating and judging. On the basis of the evaluation report, the Leibniz Association Senate approves a research policy statement that contains recommendations for further development at the institute. This statement serves the Joint Science Conference (Gemeinsame Wissenschaftskonferenz, GWK) of the federal government and federal states (Länder) by verifying eligibility conditions.
The German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA) is an independent social-science research institute based in Hamburg. It analyses political, social and economic developments in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East and combines this analysis with innovative comparative research on international relations, development and globalisation, violence and security, and political systems. On the basis of this research, the GIGA advises political, economic and social decision-makers. The institute has 160 staff members and belongs to the Leibniz Association. It is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office, the Hamburg Ministry of Science and Research, and the other German states.
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