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.


  • Research Comic | 2024

    The Making of Interreligious Peace

    Sometimes, people belonging to different religions do not get along well. In 2022 we travelled to Sierra Leone and Togo where interreligious relations were very peaceful. This comic depicts some examples of how to make interreligious peace: celebrating together, collaborating, being friends, and respecting each other despite differences.

    Politics and Religion | 09/2023

    What Do We Know about Religion and Interreligious Peace?: A Review of the Quantitative Literature

    Interreligious relations remain an important dimension of human coexistence and we currently observe an increase in religiously motivated violence and discrimination. Hence, we need to better understand determinants of interreligious peace.

    Monograph | Oxford Univ. Press | 2023

    Religious Minorities at Risk

    To what extent do minority grievances contribute to intrastate conflict? Based on a novel dataset on 771 religious minorities, the book offers new insights into classic debates on the influences of discrimination, deprivation, and inequality (DDI) on minority grievances and conflict behavior. DDI is a significant cause of minority grievances which, in turn, deeply influence their conflict behaviors.

    Prof. Dr. Jonathan Fox

    Ass. Prof. Dr. Ariel Zellman

    Research Project | 01/04/2023 - 31/03/2029

    Merian Center for Advanced Studies in the Maghreb (MECAM): Imagining Futures - Dealing with Disparity, Phase II

    The Merian Centre for Advanced Studies in the Maghreb (MECAM) based in Tunis is the first and only Institute for Advanced Studies in North Africa. MECAM’s ambition is to become an intellectual hub that contributes to the emergence of cutting-edge, internationally relevant and visible research in the humanities and social sciences on, from and in the Maghreb and in particular with scholars from the Maghreb. The GIGA coordinates MECAM's publications as well as outreach and transfer activities.
    BMBF, 2023-2029

    Research Project | 01/11/2020 - 31/07/2024

    Religion for Peace: Identifying Conditions and Mechanisms of Interfaith Peace

    In recent years, religion has become an increasingly contentious phenomenon, with religious violence and discrimination on the rise worldwide. However, religion is also connected to peace: interfaith peace is, in fact, the norm rather than the exception. We contribute to the rigorous empirical study of the link between religion and peace, especially regarding positive peace. Using several cutting-edge methodologies, we expect substantial results that are also very useful for policy.
    DFG, 2020-2024

    Research Project | 01/04/2020 - 31/03/2023

    Merian Center for Advanced Studies in the Maghreb (MECAM): Imagining Futures - Dealing with Disparity, Phase I

    The "Merian Centre for Advanced Studies in the Maghreb" (MECAM), founded in 2020, is a platform for regional and international scientific exchange in Tunisia based on the central theme "Imagining Futures - Dealing with Disparity". The centre is located at the renowned Université de Tunis in the Tunisian capital. Its research work focuses on the effects of multidimensional disparity on models, visions and ideas about political, social, economic, and cultural futures.
    BMBF, 2020-2023

    GIGA Focus Africa | 2/2024

    Peaceful or Contentious? How to Promote Interreligious Peace in Africa

    In African societies, celebrations of religious diversity exist alongside (violent) religious extremism. What determines whether interreligious relations are peaceful or contentious? What can we learn from positive examples, and what role does religious extremism play in interreligious peace?

    GIGA Focus Africa | 1/2024

    Ten Things to Watch in Africa in 2024

    Democracy will remain strained in Africa, with crucial elections in 2024. Conflict risks may arise alongside the further waning of Western influence. Economic growth will continue, but also structural socio-economic challenges too. Western policymakers should address migration and decarbonisation.

    Contribution | 2024

    Pictures of Religion and Interreligious Relations in Everyday Life

    For a photo project Togolese and Sierra Leonean participants took photos of religion and interreligious relations in their everyday life. This documentation of the project displays their diverse perspectives and invites observers to reflect on religion and interreligious relations in their lives.

    Victoire FM | Lomé Bouge Info | Radio Pyramide FM | Actu-Togo | Mention | 27/09/2023

    Reporting on Workshop Lomé: Religion for Peace? Identifying Conditions and Mechanisms of Interfaith Peace

    Local radio and webnews reported on our activities as part of the workshop in Lomé on conditions and mechanisms of interreligious peace.

    Conference | 25/09/2023 - 26/09/2023

    Workshop Lomé: Religion for Peace? Identifying Conditions and Mechanisms of Interfaith Peace

    Workshop Lomé: Religion for Peace? Identifying Conditions and Mechanisms of Interfaith Peace, Hotel Onomo, Lomé Dr. Lisa Hoffmann (Panelist, Organiser), Julia Köbrich (Panelist, Organiser)

    This workshop discussed facets of interreligious relations, focusing on the role religion can play for peace. It aimed to identify the conditions and mechanisms that facilitate interfaith peace and looked at the actors and approaches involved in strengthening peaceful relationships across religious communities.

    President (ad interim)

    Prof. Dr. Sabine Kurtenbach is President (ad interim) of the GIGA.

    Prof. Dr. Sabine Kurtenbach

    Regional Institutes

    Africa|Asia|Latin America|Middle East


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