The German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA) is one of the leading European research institutes for Area Studies and Comparative Area Studies. The GIGA examines political, economic, and social developments in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East and conducts research on issues of global importance.

GIGA scholars investigate a number of different, yet interrelated topics which revolve around the common puzzle of global challenges. Their research is guided by a set of overarching questions: How can participation and accountability in different political regimes be created and maintained? How can peace and security be achieved and conflict be overcome? How can inclusive and sustainable development be fostered? How do power and ideas influence global norm setting and policy making?

The methodological toolkit to study these topics needs to be eclectic in order to best address each individual research question. There are, however, a number of common features that characterise most of the GIGA’s research: interdisciplinarity, multi-level analysis, pluralism, and Comparative Area Studies.

Comparative Area Studies

The GIGA is unique in that it combines expertise built up over decades in the field of Area Studies and uses comparative methods. Our scholars link their regional knowledge and field research to theoretical approaches from political science, economics, sociology and related disciplines. They compare developments either within the world region of study or between different regions. The GIGA is a pioneer in the fledgling field of comparative area studies.

Forschungsmatrix Research Matrix/ Organigram

Research at the GIGA is organised in a matrix consisting of four Regional Institutes and four thematic Research Programmes (RP). All GIGA scholars are based in a Regional Institute and also take part in at least one RP. A continuous exchange of ideas and knowledge characterises the research of the GIGA.

PDF of the matrix