Featured Topics

On our topic pages you will find GIGA experts, background analyses and studies, research projects, as well as relevant media reports and events on featured topics of our research agenda.

  • Multilateralism

    Multilateralism and global institutions are under severe challenge. We investigate the causes and repercussions of these problems, provide theoretical and empirical analyses of different institutions, and contribute to policy and public debates on reform.


    Russia's attack on Ukraine once again raises the question of the effectiveness of sanctions. Economic sanctions are a popular foreign policy tool for addressing a wide range of international challenges including conflicts, human rights violations, or terrorism. Learn more about GIGA's research on this topic.


    The Indo-Pacific has emerged as the world’s economic and strategic centre of gravity, in which established and rising powers compete with each other. Learn more about the GIGA’s research, policy exchange and knowledge transfer activities on this mega region, focusing on the perspectives of governmental and non-governmental actors.

    Coronavirus and the Global South

    Large parts of Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East are being very seriously affected by the disease, and the states of the Global South are showing a wide variation in their reactions. Learn more how the GIGA contributes to addressing the worldwide repercussions of the pandemic.

    Climate Politics and the Global South

    We work on the politics of climate change. We investigate options to enable low and middle income countries to achieve lower-carbon trajectories without compromising economic development and poverty reduction and study the role of the Global South in international climate negotiations.

    Digitalisation and the Global South

    The global digital transformation is changing how we live and work, as well as how states relate to each other. Our researchers are analysing new opportunities/ challenges of digitalisation in the Global South and instruments of foreign policy, such as digital diplomacy and cyber sanctions.

    World Trade Order

    The trade war between the US and China and the deadlocks in the World Trade Organisation are two examples of the current crisis of globalisation. We investigate how the world trade order is influenced by domestic concerns, international negotiations, and geo-economic competition.

    Democratic Institutions under Stress

    Democracy builds on common principles such as elections, division of power, and rule of law. In practice, democratic institutions often underperform due to executives overstepping powers, conflicts and power struggles causing stalemate in the policy process, and rule instability.

    Authoritarian Turn

    Authoritarian practices are not only used in non-democratic regimes. They can increasingly be found also in formally democratic states, as the examples of shrinking civic space, populism, and democratic backsliding show. Learn more about the GIGA‘s research and knowledge transfer on the topic.

    Rural Transformations

    Many rural areas in the Global South are facing tremendous challenges including persistent poverty, demographic pressure, climatic change and an eroding resource base. Competition for land and resources affects the lives of rural populations in multiple ways.


    Around 80 million people have been forcibly displaced by war or political violence worldwide. Several millions more have fled because of environmental disasters and socio-economic marginalisation. We focus on the background of this phenomenon in the regions of origin.


    Religion is socially important and affects politics and socioeconomic developments in multiple ways. In recent years, religion has become increasingly contentious. Terrorist attacks, armed conflict and xenophobia have been making headlines. At the same time, religion can also contribute to peace.

    Institutions for Peace

    To overcome war and violent conflicts, building and strengthening institutions for peace is crucial. This includes power-sharing governments, security sector reform and other processes. We investigate these and pay equal attention to institutions and processes that may obstruct peace.

    Social Protection

    Social protection shields people against health crisis and other shocks and can help people overcome poverty traps. We do research on a wide range of crucial social, economic, and political issues related to the design, scope, and implementation challenges of social protection programs.

    The GIGA and the G20

    Germany held the G20 presidency in 2017. The German Institute for Global and Area Studies has been conducting cutting-edge research on G20-relevant topics for many years and made its special expertise directly available to the G20 process. Learn more about our work on this topic.

    Prof. Dr. Patrick Köllner

    Director of the GIGA Institute for Asian Studies / Vice President

    Prof. Dr. Matthias Basedau

    Director of the GIGA Institute for African Affairs / Editor GIGA Focus Africa

    Prof. Dr. Merike Blofield

    Director of the GIGA Institute for Latin American Studies

    Prof. Dr. Eckart Woertz

    Director of the GIGA Institute for Middle East Studies / Editor GIGA Focus Middle East


    Prof. Dr. Amrita Narlikar is President of the GIGA. Her research focuses on international negotiations, economic statecraft, and multilateralism. She has a special interest in India, Asia, and the BRICS.

    Office of the President


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