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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 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.

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.

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

In the various editions of the GIGA Focus, the GIGA publishes its research findings and concise analyses of current events. Four editions cover politics, economics, and society in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, respectively. A transregional edition examines global trends.

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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.