Thematic Editions of the GIGA Focus Series

The various thematic editions of the GIGA Focus series discuss the specific global and regional expressions of an overarching issue. While they do not adopt a strictly comparative approach, they do show how certain phenomena change and travel across the world and within different historic and cultural contexts. They also reflect the GIGA’s approach of taking into account the philosophical traditions and historical experiences of all world regions.

  • The War in Ukraine and the Global South

    The Russian attack on Ukraine has met with strong international condemnation. But the outrage over the invasion, the sanctioning of Russia, and offering material and moral support to Ukraine are not universal trends. In particular, countries with close economic and military ties to Russia, such as China, India, and South Africa, abstained on the United Nations resolution; Brazil and Saudi Arabia declared themselves “neutral” meanwhile. Many countries also fear that international supply chains will once again be disrupted by the war and sanctions, and therewith the consequences for global food and energy security. This GIGA Focus series analyses the effects of and reactions to the war, as well as how it is perceived, in the societies of the Global South.

    GIGA Focus Global | 6/2022

    Bolstering the Bromances: Turkey’s and Iran’s Tightening Ties with Africa

    The war against Ukraine has created possibilities for emerging actors in Africa – such as Iran and Turkey – to scale up their engagement with the continent. This Focus deals with the question of how the changing global dynamics are allowing Iran and Turkey to boost their ties across the African continent.

    The Multiple Challenges of Climate Change

    The consequences of climate change can be observed and analysed at different levels and regarding a variety of topics. The GIGA Focus series addresses global cooperation and conflict regarding climate change, the role of Brazil and the Amazon, the challenges of the next COP in Egypt, the relation between climate change and migration geopolitical shifts.

    The Biden Presidency: Challenges and Opportunities for International Cooperation

    The inauguration of President Joe Biden on 20 January 2021 is the source of much hope around the world that the United States government will now return to international cooperation rather than continue putting “America First.” On his very first day in office, the new president already rejoined both the Paris Agreement and the World Health Organization. The GIGA Focus Thematic Editions 2021 will examine the key consequences of the change of administration in the United States for multilateralism and specific challenges in the Global South.

    GIGA Focus Global | 5/2021

    Joe Biden and a New Era of Multilateralism

    With the inauguration of Joe Biden, the USA once again extends hands to traditional partners and embraces the concept of strategic competition with Russia and China. The new president is thus ushering in a new era of multilateralism, states GIGA researcher Hannes Greve in GIGA Focus Global.

    Hannes Greve

    Former GIGA Team member

    Military and Militarisation

    The military and militarisation are making their way back into politics. The alliances being formed with civilian elites are different to before. In some cases, military officers past or present are assuming office in high government as well as threatening or suppressing the opposition and civil society. In times of social, political, and/or economic crisis, the military serves primarily to uphold the power of ruling elites. In other contexts, national elites are driving the militarisation of foreign policy. This thematic GIGA Focus series analyses the role of the military and the processes of militarisation in different regions of the world.

    Shrinking Civic Spaces around the World

    Civil society has been facing increasing pressure around the world in recent years. The spaces for citizens and NGOs to assemble and campaign for rights and their interests have been shrinking globally, not only affecting actors in authoritarian regimes but also facilitating the emergence of authoritarian practices in formally democratic contexts. Against this background, the decisive question is “What shapes and maintains the global increase of civil society restrictions?” In this thematic GIGA Focus series authors employing different perspectives explore the dynamics of shrinking civic space and shed light on this worrying trend. At the GIGA, research on this phenomenon and related topics is carried out within Research Programme 1 “Accountability and Participation” and within the International Diffusion and Cooperation of Authoritarian Regimes - IDCAR-Network.

    GIGA Focus Asia | 6/2018

    Civil Society Work in China: Trade-Offs and Opportunities for European NGOs

    Bertram Lang

    Former Associate

    Germany and the Multilateral Order

    Since January 2019, Germany has been a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. This raises the question, on the one hand, of what challenges German foreign policy will face until the end of Germany’s membership in December 2020. On the other, it can be asked what opportunities multilateral actors have – if any – to influence conflicts around the world. Against this backdrop, this GIGA Focus series analyses various conflict situations in different world regions.

    The G20 amidst Globalisation

    The G20 countries represent approximately two-thirds of the world’s population, over 80 per cent of the world’s economic activity, and three-quarters of global trade. Against the backdrop of Germany’s G20 presidency in 2017, this thematic GIGA Focus series provides research-based analyses of the G20 as an institution, of its potential, and of central issues on the G20 agenda as seen from a regional perspective.

    Flight and Migration

    Across the world, 65 million people are currently leaving their homes and crossing borders to seek asylum and protection. The number of people “on the move” internally is much higher, as migration has many causes and motivations. This thematic edition of the GIGA Focus series sheds light on the multiple aspects and experiences of flight and migration.

    A Pluralist Approach to Social Sciences

    Most approaches to solving real-world problems are based on the experiences of the industrialised Western world. Other experiences – if taken into account at all – are measured against this ideal type. This thematic edition of the GIGA Focus demonstrates the added value of including the ideas as well as the experiences of the Global South, with a specific focus on democracy and democratisation.

    GIGA Focus Middle East | 4/2016

    The Arab Spring: Misconceptions and Prospects

    Dr. Stephan Rosiny

    Former GIGA Team member

    GIGA Focus Africa | 4/2016

    External Intervention to Strengthen Democracy in Africa

    Fabian Bohnenberger

    Former Associate

    GIGA Focus Asia | 2/2016

    "He who says C must say D" — China’s Attempt to Become the "World’s Largest Democracy"

    Günter Schucher

    Former GIGA Team member

    Open Access

    Open Access

    The concept of "open access" has empowered the GIGA to virtually eliminate the financial, technical, and legal barriers normally faced by many of those seeking to access the institute’s research findings. This publication strategy ensures that people all around the world have equal opportunities to keep up with scholarly advances.

    Open Access at the GIGA


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