Research Platforms

Exchange and cooperation with scholars from around the world is a decades-long tradition at the GIGA. Since 2015 we have been intensifying and consolidating this cooperation with the help of a new medium: the GIGA research platforms.

  • Exchange and cooperation with scholars from around the world is a decades-long tradition at the GIGA. Since 2015 we have been intensifying and consolidating this cooperation with the help of the GIGA research platforms. Through these platforms we are collaborating with excellent partners in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East on research topics of joint interest and are laying the foundation for international, evidence-based policy advising. The GIGA also works closely with the German organisations based in each of the partner countries, including the embassies.

    Alongside joint field research, we organise conferences and workshops as well as exchange stays among scholarly staff; new research findings are presented in joint publications.

    The research platform activities not only aim to increase the profile of the GIGA’s research findings in the regions and to create a link to regional debates; they also serve to integrate the findings and viewpoints from local contexts into the mainstream in other regions of the world.

    Our regional research platforms are an important element in our approach of adopting a well-founded, inclusive, and pluralistic view of research and policy.

    Research Platform Africa

    The Research Platform Africa aims to intensify and consolidate cooperation with distinguished partners in sub-Saharan Africa and foster collaboration on research topics of joint interest. 

    MIASA, based at the University of Legon, Ghana, is one of five Maria Sibylla Merian Centres for Advanced Studies, funded by the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF). Its overall aim is to work towards a reduction of global asymmetries in knowledge production and to bridge the cultural divide between anglophone and francophone Africa. MIASA’s thematic focus is on sustainable governance. The GIGA contributes to this research, has a member on MIASA’s executive committee, and organises – together with partners from Ghana – the “MIASA Policy Conferences.”  

    The editors of Africa Spectrum, a renowned African Studies journal published by the GIGA, co-organised a publishing workshop for scholars from African countries working on questions related to politics, society, and economy in Africa and on addressing sustainable governance.  

    In 2022, the GIGA Institute for African Affairs established the GIGA Speaker Series on African Affairs. Distinguished speakers from leading African research institutes and universities are invited to give public talks, both in person and online, as well as to participate in internal sessions seeking to lay the foundations for further joint projects. 

    Research Platform Asia

    Since 2015 the GIGA has operated a research platform in Asia that aims to intensify collaboration and exchange between academia, think tanks, the German Federal Foreign Office, political foundations, and other partners. Activities include joint academic conferences, workshops, and policy-oriented events, as well as staff exchanges. The platform also allows us to explore innovative collaborations and establish new partnerships with institutions in the wider Indo-Pacific and in Europe. In recent years, we have co-organised several academic events in Beijing, Dunedin (New Zealand), Kuala Lumpur, New Delhi, Phitsanulok (Thailand), Tokyo, Ulaanbaatar, and Yangon. Joint activities with academics and journalists from the region have also taken place in Hamburg and Berlin. A substantial number of edited volumes, special issues of peer-reviewed journals, and other publications have resulted from these events. In terms of institutional collaboration, the GIGA research platform Asia benefits from cooperation agreements with the China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing, the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses in New Delhi, the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. In Tokyo, the GIGA is represented by its senior research fellow Dr. Iris Wieczorek. Between 2017 and 2020 the GIGA granted several “GIGA India Fellowships” to India specialists to spend time as Visiting Fellows at the GIGA Institute for Asian Studies. Some former Visiting Fellows are now Associates of the institute. Together with its French partner, the Institute for International Studies (CERI) at the SciencesPo Paris, in 2021 the GIGA launched the Franco-German Observatory of the Indo-Pacific, which organises a webinar series, joint conferences, and other exchanges.

    Research Project | 01/01/2022 - 31/12/2022

    Engaging the Indo-Pacific: German and Korean Perspectives on Regional Cooperation

    A policy-oriented research project bringing together the GIGA and the East Asia Institute in Seoul. The project aims at analysing German/EU and Korean strategies for Indo-Pacific engagement and identifying areas for in-depth consultation, coordination and cooperation.
    Korea Foundation, 2022

    Prof. Dr. Sook-Jong Lee

    Prof. Dr. Yul Sohn

    Prof. Dr. Chaesung Chun

    Research Platform Latin America

    Consolidating and expanding its collaborative work with leading universities and research institutes in Brazil and beyond is a primary objective of GIGA research platform in Latin America. In addition to our main cooperation partner, the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio), we have been working closely together with 10 institutions to organise joint international workshops and conferences, arrange mutual research visits, and discuss topics of joint interest with different target groups in the region. The platforms activities are interlocked with GIGA research projects, thus paving the way for synergies and institutional bonds for long-term cooperation.


    Research Platform Middle East

    The GIGA currently operates one research platform in North Africa (Tunis) and one in the Middle East (Beirut). They bring together academics and practitioners from the Arab world and beyond and enable the GIGA and its partners to jointly address issues of particular relevance for the involved institutions and researchers. Together with the L’Observatoire Tunisien de la Transition Démocratique (OTTD) in Tunisia and the Lebanese American University (LAU) in Beirut, the GIGA organises activities to promote a common impact on the scientific and political arenas in the locations of the respective platforms – these consist of international conferences and workshops, research cooperation, and mutual research visits.


    MECAM Papers English | 07/2023

    Quietist Salafism Between (Neo)liberal Apprehensions and Convergence

    There are some striking similarities between quietist Salafi thinking in Morocco and key political and societal dictates of liberal and neoliberal logics. These traditions all variously vilify the state as a means of effecting individual and, ultimately, societal transformation. They also variously locate matters of responsibility at the level of each individual, rather than at the level of society or the state.

    MECAM Papers English | 02/2023

    Hand / Camera / Phone: Mobile Cameras, Migration, and Knowledge Production in Our Hands

    Mobile phones have a close relation to the hand itself, when they are used as handheld cameras, or in the way a touchscreen is operated. When mobile phone cameras are used in documentary filmmaking to tell a migrant’s story on their own terms, they offer a “hands-on” approach to digital knowledge production that incorporates not only the reality of its production but also the potential for a change of perspective.

    Global Approach to Scholarship

    The GIGA works with perspectives, concepts, and experiences from different world regions. It stands for research that is global in content, reach, and structure.

    Global Approach to Scholarship


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