Specific Editions of the GIGA Focus Series

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.


  • GIGA Focus Global | 2/2022

    The War in Ukraine from the Perspective of the Global South: Not an Epochal Turn

    States in the global South want to choose themselves where and with whom they cooperate. This is how they safeguard their autonomy in an increasingly multipolar world characterized by great power rivalries. In the Global South Russia is not a pariah-state.

    Dr. Johannes Plagemann

    Research Fellow / Research Team Spokesperson

    GIGA Focus Global | 1/2022

    Now and Never: Banning Hydrocarbon Extraction in Antarctica Forever

    Massive untapped mineral resources in Antarctica continue to be a central concern for diplomacy. As host of the next Antarctic meeting in May 2022, Germany now has the chance to revitalise high-level diplomacy and global cooperation on climate action with a forever ban on hydrocarbon extraction.

    Prof. Dr. Alan D. Hemmings

    GIGA Focus Global | 8/2021

    Sustaining Civic Space in Times of COVID-19: Global Trends

    Autocracies worldwide have exploited COVID-19 to curtail civil liberties. However, the health crisis and related socio-economic setbacks have also created needs-induced space, leading to a rise of civil society relief activism and protests. Read more in this GIGA Focus Global.

    GIGA Focus Global | 7/2021

    Requirements for a Successful COP 26: Commitment, Responsibilities, Trust

    The agenda for the UN Climate Change Conference foresees the conclusion of negotiations on implementation rules for the Paris Agreement and the setting of more ambitious targets by the parties. The authors analyse the requirements for a successful COP 26 in Glasgow.

    Dr. Miriam Prys-Hansen

    Lead Research Fellow / Head of Research Programme "Global Orders and Foreign Policies"

    Jan Klenke

    Doctoral Researcher

    GIGA Focus Global | 6/2021

    The Shadow Pandemic: Policy Efforts on Gender-Based Violence during COVID-19 in the Global South

    With the pandemic, the risk of violence against women and children, especially within the home, increased further as people sheltered at home at the same time that they faced great financial and emotional stress. The authors of this GIGA Focus assess government efforts to address and treat gender-based violence.

    GIGA Focus Global | 5/2021

    Joe Biden and a New Era of Multilateralism

    With the inauguration of Joe Biden, the USA once again extends hands to traditional partners and embraces the concept of strategic competition with Russia and China. The new president is thus ushering in a new era of multilateralism, states GIGA researcher Hannes Greve in GIGA Focus Global.

    Hannes Greve

    Doctoral Researcher

    GIGA Focus Global | 4/2021

    Claimed Legitimacy: Appreciating the Diversity of Regional Organisations

    Regional organisations (ROs) are key actors in global and regional governance, and their authority has continuously grown in all world regions. In the face of growing contestation and politicization, these ROs increasingly justify their right to rule. The GIGA Focus Global analyses their legitimation patterns.

    GIGA Focus Global | 3/2021

    Cyber Sanctions: Increasing Application of a New Instrument

    Hacker attacks on states and international organisations are increasingly answered with cyber sanctions. Dr Julia Grauvogel and Dr Christian von Soest compare the international use of the new instrument in Focus Global 04/2021 and show which steps could make the measures more effective.

    Dr. Julia Grauvogel

    Senior Research Fellow / Research Team Spokesperson

    Dr. Christian von Soest

    Lead Research Fellow / Head of Research Programme "Peace and Security"


    GIGA Focus Africa | 4/2022

    Happy Ever After? The Marriage Market as a Source of Societal Instability

    There is a longstanding notion that young, unmarried men are a source of societal instability. The author of this GIGA Focus argues that the marriage market and gender imbalances in this market are important aspects to consider for understanding the reasons why young men gravitate towards violence.

    GIGA Focus Africa | 3/2022

    The Bigger Picture: Mali, Jihadism, and the Withdrawal of the West

    By the end of May 2022, the mandate for the German military mission in Mali will expire. The decision on an extension should be made against the backdrop of two trends in Africa: the spread of jihadist violence and the growing influence of non-Western external powers.

    Prof. Dr. Matthias Basedau

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

    GIGA Focus Africa | 2/2022

    Home Alone: South Africa’s Regional Predicament

    South Africa finds itself in a severe crisis that has serious implications for its neighbours. The regional hegemon has largely been unable to engage in regional crises in a meaningful way. As a result, we see a worrying downward trend in Southern Africa, traditionally a haven of stability.

    Dr. Christian von Soest

    Lead Research Fellow / Head of Research Programme "Peace and Security"

    GIGA Focus Africa | 1/2022

    Ten Things to Watch in Africa in 2022

    Two years into the pandemic, there are signs that sub-Saharan Africa will experience a modest recovery in 2022. However, inadequate vaccine supply, violent conflicts and structural weaknesses remain challenges for the region. We present an analysis of "ten things to watch" in Africa.

    Dr. Julia Grauvogel

    Senior Research Fellow / Research Team Spokesperson

    Dr. Christian von Soest

    Lead Research Fellow / Head of Research Programme "Peace and Security"

    GIGA Focus Africa | 7/2021

    Elections and Government Legitimacy in Fragile States

    The collapse of elected civilian governments – as in Mali, Afghanistan and Guinea – raises the question of the legitimacy of a government. The author of this GIGA Focus argues that elections alone are often not enough to legitimise a government of fragile states in the eyes of the citizens.

    Dr. Malte Lierl

    Research Fellow / Research Team Spokesperson

    GIGA Focus Africa | 6/2021

    A Weapon of the Weak: Fighting Police Brutality through Social Media

    Social media can provide a voice for marginalised actors. In this GIGA Focus Africa, GIGA researcher Lynda Chinenye Iroulo analyses the regulation of social media using the example of the Nigerian movement "EndSARS" and shows that the right to freedom of expression remains under pressure.

    GIGA Focus Africa | 5/2021

    Development Cooperation Policy with Africa: Dare for More Coherence

    Development policy plays a crucial role in addressing global as well as African challenges. The authors of this GIGA Focus Africa expect the future German Federal Government to ensure coherence in development policy and joint action by the foreign, economic and environment ministries.

    GIGA Focus Africa | 4/2021

    The Political Deadlock on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam

    The failure of the latest talks over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam has intensified tensions between Ethiopia and downstream states Egypt and Sudan, and challenged traditional dynamics in the Nile River Basin. The authors explain the political stalemate based on three key factors.

    Hana Attia

    Doctoral Researcher

    Mona Saleh

    Doctoral Researcher


    GIGA Focus Asia | 2/2022

    Bringing Afghan Women to the Table: How to Negotiate with the Taliban

    Since the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021 space for women has been constantly shrinking, and the country is facing a humanitarian disaster. European partners may need to engage with the de facto regime, which should not come at the cost of excluding women from the engagement process.

    GIGA Focus Asia | 1/2022

    How to Anchor Germany’s Drifting Indo-Pacific Policy

    Naval deployments have taken centre stage in the implementation of Indo-Pacific policies. Yet, as the voyage of the frigate “Bayern” exemplifies, the German, similar to other European policies, suffers from contradictions that are hidden under the “rules-based order” label.

    Dr. Christian Wirth

    Research Fellow

    GIGA Focus Asia | 6/2021

    Managing the Status Quo: Continuity and Change in the United States’ Taiwan Policy

    Many Taiwanese were concerned that US-Taiwan relations would worsen under President Biden. Contrary to these worries, in the first ten months in office, the Biden administration has repeatedly signalled the US’ continuing support. This GIGA Focus analyses the continuity and change in US Taiwan policy.

    Dr. David Kuehn

    Senior Research Fellow / Coordinator GIGA Forum

    GIGA Focus Asia | 5/2021

    Beyond “Indo-Pacific”: Understanding Small Pacific Powers on Their Own Terms

    Recently, the European Union presented its strategy for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, which is not a coherent world region but a concept to respond to geopolitical and geo-economic dynamics linked to China’s rise. This GIGA Focus analyses the interests and concerns of the small powers in the Pacific.

    Prof. Dr. Patrick Köllner

    Director of the GIGA Institute for Asian Studies / Vice President

    GIGA Focus Asia | 4/2021

    One Hundred Years of Solitude: The CCP Tests Its Claim to Global Leadership

    The Chinese Communist Party celebrated itself at home as a progressive force that brought prosperity and overcame the pandemic. Internationally, geopolitical rivalries are growing. In GIGA Focus Asia, the author recommends how the EU should react to China's claim to global leadership.

    Prof. Dr. Heike Holbig

    Senior Research Fellow / Editor GIGA Focus Asia

    GIGA Focus Asia | 3/2021

    Digital Surveillance and the Threat to Civil Liberties in India

    Through digitalisation and artificial intelligence, the Indian government is expanding surveillance of its citizens, increasingly threatening their privacy. Visiting Fellow Dr Sangeeta Mahapatra analyses India's digital surveillance strategy in GIGA Focus Asia 05/2021.

    GIGA Focus Asia | 2/2021

    "Micronexit" Overshadows Golden Anniversary of the Pacific Islands Forum

    The Pacific Islands Forum is facing its biggest crisis since its founding 50 years ago. Nearly one-third of its members are to leave the organization in 2022 because their candidate for secretary general was not elected in early 2021. Reforms may help to avert the "Micronexit", but challenges still abound for the Pacific’s premier regional body.

    Prof. Dr. Patrick Köllner

    Director of the GIGA Institute for Asian Studies / Vice President


    GIGA Focus Latin America | 1/2022

    From Ending War to Building Peace – Lessons from Latin America

    With the takeover of power by the Taliban in Afghanistan, the possibilities and limits of international peace operations are being newly discussed. Experiences from Central America and Colombia show that not only the return of the past but also the lack of structural reforms threaten peace. An analysis.

    Prof. Dr. Sabine Kurtenbach

    Lead Research Fellow / General Editor GIGA Focus Editor GIGA Focus Global

    GIGA Focus Latin America | 6/2021

    “Brazil must be back!” – But Real Climate Action Is Possible Only after Bolsonaro

    Brazil’s contribution to international climate protection is urgently needed, but during Bolsonaro’s presidency greenhouse gas emissions, support for agribusiness, and the repression of activists increased. Chances for a turnaround will come only with a change of president in the upcoming elections. An analysis.

    Anna Fünfgeld

    Doctoral Researcher

    GIGA Focus Latin America | 5/2021

    COVID-19 in Latin America: Where We Stand and What Is to Come

    The authors of this GIGA Focus analyse the current COVID-19 situation in Latin America and the challenges facing the countries. Texto completo disponible en español.

    Prof. Dr. Jan Felix Drexler

    Prof. Dr. Bert Hoffmann

    Lead Research Fellow / Head GIGA Berlin Office Editor GIGA Focus Latin America

    GIGA Focus Latin America | 4/2021

    The Political Limits of Presidential Impeachment: Lessons from Latin America

    In presidential democracies, impeachment proceedings are an important mechanism for controlling executive powers. GIGA expert Prof. Mariana Llanos and Prof. Leiv Marsteintredet show in the GIGA Focus that impeachment proceedings can, however, also open the door to party-political interests and opportunism.

    Prof. Dr. Mariana Llanos

    Lead Research Fellow / Head of Research Programme "Accountability and Participation"

    Prof. Dr. Leiv Marsteintredet

    GIGA Focus Latin America | 3/2021

    Abortion Rights in Latin America: An Unsettled Battle

    Despite feminist movements’ many steps forward in Latin America, abortion rights remain an issue where political clashes continue, and American countries still exhibit some of the world’s most prohibitive abortion laws. Clara Franco Yáñez analyses the situation in this GIGA Focus.

    Clara Franco Yáñez

    Doctoral Researcher

    GIGA Focus Latin America | 2/2021

    Elections in Ecuador: An Emerging Alternative beyond the Left–Right Antagonism

    On 11 April 2021 Ecuador’s presidential run-off election will take place. The run-off represents the choice between two opposing models of development. Arauz seeks to advance ex-president Rafael Correa’s anti-neoliberal “Citizen Revolution,” while Lasso promotes the old neoliberal agenda.

    Dr. Sandra Zapata

    Santiago M. Zarria

    GIGA Focus Latin America | 1/2021

    When Tone Is Not Everything: Joe Biden and Latin America

    Joe Biden’s election has raised many expectations. However, due to long-established legacies and predominant bipartisan consensus around the United States’ Western Hemisphere policy, changes will be in tone rather than in substance. This GIGA Focus introduces four topics, that will shape the agenda.

    Rafael Castro Alegría

    Doctoral Researcher

    GIGA Focus Latin America | 7/2020

    Social Policy Responses to the COVID-19 Crisis and the Road Ahead

    Prof. Dr. Merike Blofield

    Director of the GIGA Institute for Latin American Studies

    Prof. Dr. Bert Hoffmann

    Lead Research Fellow / Head GIGA Berlin Office Editor GIGA Focus Latin America


    GIGA Focus Middle East | 2/2022

    The Russian War against Ukraine: Middle East Food Security at Risk

    In the Middle East and North Africa, dependence on Ukraine and Russia for imports of wheat is among the highest globally at 50 per cent. As the war on Ukraine is disrupting the global food trade, it is also having deleterious effects on food security across much of the Arab world.

    Prof. Dr. Eckart Woertz

    Director of the GIGA Institute for Middle East Studies

    GIGA Focus Middle East | 1/2022

    Doom and Gloom: Leaving Erdoğan’s Turkey

    Although known as a host and transit country, Turkey today is in the midst of its fifth wave of emigration as a result of the country’s authoritarian and economic challenges. From asylum seekers to wealthy businesspeople, many seek to leave Erdoğan’s Turkey to make a fresh start elsewhere.

    Dr. Hakkı Taş

    Research Fellow

    GIGA Focus Middle East | 7/2021

    Raisi’s Foreign Policy: Pragmatic Revolutionism and the Iranian Pivot to Asia

    This GIGA Focus sheds light on the new Iranian conservative president Sayyid Ebrahim Raisi, and his doctrine of “pragmatic revolutionism.” The author analyses what the Iranian Asia-oriented foreign policy entails geopolitically and geoeconomically, and suggests how the multilateralist tendencies can be used by policymakers.

    GIGA Focus Middle East | 6/2021

    Ageing, Temporary Migrants: Life beyond Retirement in Dubai

    The United Arab Emirates (UAE), while exhibiting one of the highest shares of migrant workers in its national work force globally, has very restrictive immigration policies. In this GIGA Focus, the Author analyses transnational inequalities premised on citizenship and social security in the Global South.

    Dr. İdil Akıncı

    Formerly Visiting Fellow

    GIGA Focus Middle East | 5/2021

    How EU Pressure Hampers Circular Migration between Niger and Libya

    Under pressure from its European partners, the Nigerien government has prohibited Nigeriens to transport international migrants north from Agadez towards Libya or Algeria. This law does not only affect international migrants, but also the local population, as this analysis shows.

    Mattea Weihe

    Mounkaila Abdou

    GIGA Focus Middle East | 4/2021

    “The Right to Have Rights”: Legal Identity Documentation in the Syrian Civil War

    During the civil war in Syria, various actors issued legal identity documents. The disadvantages of this web of interlocking documents for people's – especially women’s – parental, inheritance and property rights are analysed in this GIGA Focus Middle East.

    Dr. Marika Sosnowski

    Research Fellow

    Noor Hamadeh

    GIGA Focus Middle East | 3/2021

    Not a Storm in a Teacup: The Islamic State after the Caliphate

    Despite the loss of its territorial “caliphate” in 2019, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria still poses a daily threat. To account for the resurgence of IS, we need to look at its dynamism, in addition to the domestic and regional complexities that facilitate its persistence in Iraq and Syria.

    Selman Almohamad

    Research Fellow

    GIGA Focus Middle East | 2/2021

    The Future of South Yemen and the Southern Transitional Council

    A central role in shaping the political future of South Yemen is played by the Transitional Council of the South, which is increasingly perceived internationally as the representative of South Yemeni interests. While this corresponds to the Council's claim, it does not do justice to the multitude of rival actors there.

    Dr. Jens Heibach

    Research Fellow

    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. They also reflect the GIGA’s approach of taking into account the philosophical traditions and historical experiences of all world regions.

    GIGA Focus International Edition

    Browse our discontinued GIGA Focus series here. The GIGA Focus International Edition English was stopped at the end of 2015, the GIGA Focus International Edition Chinese in 2014. As of 2016, the summaries of all issues will be published in both German and English.

    Open Access at the GIGA

    The GIGA strives to publish research results as promptly as possible according to the Open Access principle. Open Access represents free online access to research results - without financial, technical or legal barriers.

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