GIGA Institute for African Affairs

GIGA Institute for African Affairs

The GIGA Institute for African Affairs analyses political and socio-economic developments in sub-Saharan Africa. Political institutions, violent conflicts, as well as a variety of socio-economic challenges form the thematic core. The aim of the research is to paint a nuanced picture of sub-Saharan Africa.

  • The GIGA Institute for African Affairs engages in a unique Social Science-based approach to African Studies. Aiming at painting a nuanced picture of sub-Saharan Africa, the regional institute analyses political and socio-economic developments and combines rigorous disciplinary approaches with in-depth contextual knowledge on the region as well as its subregions – such as the Sahel and key country cases. Political institutions, violent conflicts, as well as a variety of socio-economic challenges form the thematic core of the work of GIGA’s Africa institute. Specific topics include research on land, migration, sanctions, religion, regional organisations, and the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Within the frameworks of the GIGA’s Global Approach and of Comparative Area Studies, the GIGA Institute for African Affairs employs a wide variety of qualitative and quantitative methods to test, modify, and develop theory. Extensive fieldwork ensures both context-sensitivity and the collection of original data. Research projects are regularly confined not just to Africa but include pronounced cross-regional perspectives too. The regional institute has a very strong record in attracting third-party funding and of publishing in top-notch academic outlets. Knowledge exchange is an integral part of these activities, often occurring with German and African partners and with decision makers as part of joint projects.

    Collaboration with African partners has been increasingly institutionalised, especially by participating in the Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa, based at the University of Ghana. GIGA’s Africa Institute also acts as a focal point for the German and the international African Studies community. Its Social Sciences Citation Index-listed journal Africa Spectrum, published in close cooperation with the Association for African Studies in Germany (VAD), has more than doubled its Impact Factor, in recent years. The GIGA Institute for African Affairs also hosts the Secretariat of the VAD.


    Gabriele Tetzlaff


    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 | C.H. Beck | 09/2023

    Wir sind nicht alle: Der Globale Süden und die Ignoranz des Westens

    Der Westen ist nicht mehr der Nabel der Welt. Stattdessen treten die Staaten des Globalen Südens mit neuem Selbstbewusstsein auf. Das Buch diskutiert, warum die Staaten des Globalen Südens so handeln, wie sie es tun, warum deren Skepsis gegenüber dem Westen so tief sitzt – und warum in der neuen Vielfalt auch Chancen liegen.

    Internationale Politik | 08/2023

    Was ist schon ein Name?

    Vereinfachungen und Kategorisierungen sind allgegenwärtig, siehe „der Westen“ – nur beim Globalen Süden soll das nicht gelten? Warum man an diesem Begriff festhalten sollte. Eine Reaktion auf das IP-Titelthema im Juli/August.

    Monograph | Frankfurter Allgemeine Buch | 10/2023

    Sanktionen: Mächtige Waffe oder hilfloses Manöver?

    „Sanktionen“ stellt fundiert, verständlich und anschaulich die Möglichkeiten und Fallstricke dieses zentralen Machtinstruments der internationalen Politik im 21. Jahrhundert vor und gibt einen Blick in die Zukunft: Wie werden Sanktionen künftig eingesetzt? Das Buch stellt Maßstäbe vor, die Europa und Deutschland bei der Verhängung ihrer Strafmaßnahmen in Zukunft leiten sollten.

    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.

    GIGA Journal Family

    The GIGA Journal Family is published by SAGE Publishing, maintaining the "platinum standard" of the open access model. Excellent contributions by researchers from all over the world are featured in the four journals. To ensure the journals' quality, all essays are evaluated in a double-blind peer-review process.

    GIGA Journal Family

    Research Project | 01/06/2023 - 30/11/2025

    Targeting: How the USA and EU Use Individual Sanctions

    Individual sanctions have become a go-to instrument with which Western powers confront challenges to international peace and security. Shaping the trend of individualizing accountability, the USA and the EU as the main bilateral global sanction senders target individuals and entities to hold them accountable for the instigation of armed conflict, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, or the violation of human rights. INSA seeks to systematically analyze and compare the listing decisions of the USA and the EU.
    DSF, 2023-2025

    Research Project | 01/08/2022 - 31/07/2023

    Impact of Sanctions on Senders Countries’ Enterprises – the Case of the Russian–Ukraine Military Conflict

    The goal of this project is to assess the short- and mid-term economic consequences of EU and US sanctions imposed on Russia on companies from sanctions sender countries. Knowing how and why economic sanctions affect firms’ behavior is key to understanding the impact that sanctions will have - both for good and for ill – for senders’ countries’ economies and sanctions’ effectiveness.

    Research Project | 01/07/2022 - 31/03/2023

    Platforms and Online Workers in India and Africa: Challenges and Opportunities for Decent Work

    Technological advances and digitalisation are rapidly transforming the world of work, and the emergence of online labour platforms is one manifestation of this. The resulting labour market outcomes and dynamics are not well understood, particularly in the Global South. This project consists of a series of four studies that contribute to understanding the characteristics and dynamics of online work in India and selected African countries.
    GIZ, 2022-2023

    Research Project | 15/01/2022 - 14/12/2024

    COVID-19 and Executive Personalization in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Latin America and the MENA Region

    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, political leaders reacted by containment measures that, next to combating the spread of the pandemic, also presented a window of opportunity to bolster executives’ personal grasp on power. Personalization of power has been particularly worrying in the Global South where constraints on the chief executives were often already weak prior to the pandemic. This project assesses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the personalization of executive power in 36 countries of the Global South.
    DFG, 2021-2024

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

    Land-Based Investments in Global Supply Chains and the Protection of Vulnerable Groups

    The second phase of the research project “Large-Scale Land Acquisitions, Rural Change, and Social Conflict” focuses on the socio-economic impact of large-scale land acquisitions (LSLA) on local populations, particularly in terms of communal land rights and indigenous groups. Furthermore, it investigates the relationship between LSLA and global (agricultural) supply chains. The project aims to synthesise existing research and generate new evidence at the intersection of rural development and sustainable production and consumption.
    BMZ, 2022

    Research Project | 01/01/2022 - 30/06/2023

    Sanctions Termination in Times of Crises: Unpacking the Role of External Shocks

    In March 2020, the UN Secretary-General called for the easing of sanctions against Iran in response to COVID-19. Hence, external shocks are potentially related to sanctions termination. Yet, the effect of different types of external shocks such as pandemics, natural disasters, and economic crises on the (gradual) removal of sanctions has not been systematically studied. This project examines when and how external shocks affect sanctions termination through a nested research design combining new data collection, statistical analyses, and two case studies.
    DFG, 2022-2023

    Research Project | 01/10/2021 - 15/04/2022

    Investigating Supply & Demand Side Factors of a Massive Covid-19 Vaccination Drive: Experimental Evidence from Indonesia

    Indonesia is fighting one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in Asia. On January 13, 2021, the country started one of the world’s biggest COVID-19 vaccination drives. The plan is to inoculate 181.5 million people – two third of the population – in 15 months using primarily the CoronaVac from China’s Sinovac Biotech. The vaccination campaign is ambitious and its success hinges on a number of supply and demand side factors which are subject to investigation in this project.
    DFG, 2021-2022

    Research Project | 01/10/2021 - 30/09/2022

    Rebellion, Elections and the Pandemic in the Central African Republic: COVID-19 and its Impact on Deep-seated Patterns of Governance

    The COVID-19 pandemic reaches the Central African Republic (CAR) just when citizens were passing milestones for ending the country's conflicts through a peace agreement and national elections. A new rebellion broke out in late 2020 that hindered medical access to some of the most impoverished areas. An interplay of rebellion, elections and containing the pandemic have become the critical triangle deciding whether CAR can overcome its deep-seated patterns of governance that are stifling political and economic progress.
    DFG, 2021-2022



    Research Platform Africa

    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. 

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

    Research Platforms


    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

    Regional Institutes

    Africa|Asia|Latin America|Middle East


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