It is with great sorrow that we inform the public of the death of our long-time colleague, the dedicated and prolific scholar Dr. Daniel Flemes. We are shocked and very sad.
After a long illness, Daniel passed away in mid-October 2020. We will miss him greatly, and send our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.
With Daniel Flemes the GIGA has lost a committed colleague and an outstanding researcher
Early in his academic career, Daniel Flemes decided to focus his research on Latin America and especially on Brazil. During and after his dissertation, he spent many years in Brazil, and Rio de Janeiro became his second hometown. In Rio, over the years, he cooperated with the PUC, UERJ, CEBRI, and FGV; moreover, he worked closely with colleagues at the University of Brasilia (UdB). He became the leading German expert on Brazil in foreign and security policy matters, a topic that he first addressed in his doctoral dissertation on "Brazil's Cooperative Leadership in Southern America's Security Policies”. At the same time, with his conceptual proposals and rigorous analyses, he also became an authoritative and ineluctable voice in the Latin American academic community on international relations.
Brazil was the starting point for the subsequent academic study of regional powers and their interaction with secondary powers. Daniel was one of the founding members of the research group at the GIGA that advanced research on regional powers, a topic that has become a trademark of the GIGA. Daniel's edited volume on "Regional leadership in the global system: ideas, interests, and strategies of regional powers "(2010) became his most quoted publication. He published extensively on the subject, including peer-reviewed articles in Rising Powers Quarterly, Bulletin of Latin American Research, International Politics, Third World Quarterly, Revista Brasileira de Politica Internacional, and International Studies, and he led a GIGA Research Team on the foreign policies of regional powers.
The topic of regional powers broadened the focus of Daniel Flemes' research to include South Africa and India. Between 2010 and 2019, he held a prestigious Schumpeter Fellowship funded by the Volkswagen Foundation, for the project "Contested Leadership in International Relations – Power Politics in South America, Eastern Europe, Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa." The project resulted in various articles, a special issue in International Politics (2015), and an edited volume titled Regional Powers and Contested Leadership (2018). He spent considerable time in South Africa and Brazil and advanced both his research agenda and GIGA's connectedness in the Latin American region. He further developed his research interest in the area of Colombian foreign policy and successfully applied for funding within the German Academic Exchange Service's ProCol Programme, which he pursued with the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, resulting in several research projects and publications.
He had recently turned his attention to the military's role in the Brazilian Amazon, reflecting his ability to identify highly innovative research topics with considerable policy relevance. Furthermore, whenever he had the chance, he sought to open more and better communication channels between decision-makers and the scientific community, with the goal of strengthening both. Most recently, he took increasingly strong stands in the face of rising anti-democratic and oppressive actions against vulnerable groups in his beloved Brazil and Latin America in general.
In a way memorable to many of his colleagues, Daniel also actively promoted collaboration between young and senior researchers and academics from different regions, vividly exemplified in his publications and projects. He believed in the importance of training new generations of researchers more horizontally and inclusively.
We miss Daniel as a dedicated and reliable colleague, collaborator, and friend. He continuously played a crucial role in the ILAS and Research Programme 4 of the GIGA, where he leaves a gap that we will struggle to fill.
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