GIGA Institute for Asian Studies

The GIGA Institute for Asian Studies analyses current developments in Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia and Australasia. Research topics include civil society-state relations, party politics, social policy, China and India in regional and global affairs, and the Indo-Pacific as a strategic space.

  • The GIGA Institute for Asian Studies is exceptional in terms of its geographical scope. It analyses political, social, and economic developments as well as phenomena in and across four Asian world regions: Northeast Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Australasia. It operates at the interstices of Asian Studies and the Social Sciences, with a mix of qualitative, quantitative, and interpretative methods called upon. It builds intellectual bridges and fosters methodological pluralism.

    GIGA’s Asia Institute is well connected locally, nationally, at the European level, and globally – also by means of the GIGA Research Platform Asia which it has operated since 2015. It regularly and prominently contributes to large flagship Hamburg events such as the biannual “India Week” and the “Hamburg Summit: China meets Europe.” The regional institute strongly supports Asian Studies and disciplinary communities. It hosts the Secretariat of the German Association for Asian Studies, has staff who are Board Members of the latter, and was chosen as host and lead institution for the Association’s 50th anniversary conference in 2017. Its Director serves as Chairman of the Board of the Hamburg Foundation Asia Bridge. The Institute is one of the founding members of the European Alliance for Asian Studies, and initiator of the “Changing Asia” conference series, conducted since 2017 in collaboration with China Foreign Affairs University, China, the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, India, and the University of Virginia, United States.

    The GIGA Institute for Asian Studies edits, as part of the GIGA Journal Family published by SAGE Publishing, two well-established Open Access journals: the Journal of Current Chinese Affairs (since 2017 in cooperation with King’s College London) and the Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs (with editors based in Germany and France).

    Prof. Dr. Patrick Köllner

    Director of the GIGA Institute for Asian Studies / Vice President

    T. +49 (0)40 - 42 88


    Jasmina Malikova

    IAS Secretariat

    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

    Book Talk | 13/12/2021

    The Long Game: How China Negotiates with India

    The GIGA is proud to bring you Ambassador Shri Vijay Gokhale to speak with GIGA President Prof. Dr. Amrita Narlikar about his book “The Long Game. How the Chinese Negotiate with India”. The audience will have the opportunity to engage in discussion. Video of the event now online!

    Conference | 09/12/2021 - 10/12/2021

    Franco-German Observatory on the Indo-Pacific Conference 2021

    This conference discusses the current geopolitical transformations taking place in the Indo-Pacific. The objective is to debate the stakes of these evolutions, their implications for our understanding of international politics in Asia, and their policy implications for European states and the European Union.

    GIGA Journal Family | 01/12/2021

    New Journal of Current Chinese Affairs 2/2021

    This issue of the Journal of Current Chinese Affairs covers topics such as regional developments in China’s “West”, self-development in contemporary China, and China's foreign policy towards Latin America and Europe.

    GIGA Journal Family | 22/11/2021

    New Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs 3/2021

    This issue of the Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs analyses Myanmar’s policy of non-alignment, the case of disaster management in ASEAN, and Indonesia’s multilateral defence diplomacy, among other topics.

    Routledge Studies in Security and Conflict Management | Routledge | 02/2022

    International Negotiation and Political Narratives: A Comparative Study

    Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics | 01/2022

    Contract Farming, Contract Design and Smallholder Livelihoods

    The authors examine associations between contract farming and farm household income in the oil palm sector of Ghana, explicitly differentiating between two types of contracts, namely simple marketing contracts and more comprehensive resource-providing contracts.

    Dr. Catherine Ragasa

    Prof. Dr. Matin Qaim

    Gaia: Ecological Perspectives for Science and Society | 12/2021

    It’s not Enough to be Right!: The Climate Crisis, Power, and the Climate Movement

    Dr. Angela Pohlmann

    Kerstin Walz

    Prof. Dr. Anita Engels

    Stefan Aykut

    Sören Altstaedt

    Dr. Arwen Colell

    Prof. Dr. Udo Dietrich

    Hauke Feddersen

    Annabarbara Friedrich

    Franziska Krieger

    Felix Schenuit

    Alvine Datchoua-Tirvaudey

    Dr. Markus Schulz

    Jun.-Prof. Dr. Cathrin Zengerling

    European Review of International Studies | 12/2021

    Introduction: Weathering the Storm?: The EU as a Global Peace and Security Actor in Turbulent Times

    PD Dr. Andreas Grimmel

    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

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

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

    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

    Dr. Jan Priebe

    Research Fellow / Speaker Research Team

    Research Project | 01/09/2021 - 31/08/2023

    Ensuring Safe, Transparent and Mutually Beneficial Collaboration with China at Analytical Research Infrastructures

    The joint project WIKOOP-INFRA will draw up empirically grounded guidelines that offer researchers from Germany and the EU support and guidance for scientific cooperation with their Chinese colleagues at large research infrastructures under existing framework conditions.
    BMBF, 2021-2023

    Dr. Margot Schüller

    Senior Research Fellow

    Research Project | 01/09/2021 - 31/08/2023

    Performance Monitoring Asia-Pacific Research Area, Phase II

    The Asia-Pacific research area (APRA) comprises about half of the world's population and some of its most dynamic economies. The importance of the region as producer of knowledge is reflected in its growing number of international publications and patents, as well as development of new (digital) business models. By analysing the performance of science, technology, and innovation in the APRA, the project aims at supplying an empirical-evidence base for the strategic further development of cooperation with countries in Asia-Pacific.
    BMBF, 2021-2023

    Research Project | 01/06/2021 - 31/05/2023

    Leader Types and (Liberal?) Narratives of the COVID-19 Pandemic

    This project compares decision-makers in the pandemic, with a focus on leaders, health and finance ministers. The role of these ministers is taken into account because much debate has revolved around the issues of life versus livelihoods. It considers the degree to which these persons are “experts” in the relevant policy area. It further investigates the extent to which leaders and ministers referred to scientific expertise and, when they did so, which particular disciplines they relied on.
    DFG, 2021-2023

    Research Project | 01/06/2021 - 31/05/2024

    Populism and Foreign Policy

    What are the implications of the global rise of populism for international politics? Episodes such as Brexit or US President Trump's withdrawal from the Iran Agreement suggest that populists in power fuel international tensions, weaken multilateralism and undermine global governance. However, existing preliminary work on the Global South shows that this is not automatically the case. The project seeks explanations for this variance in the effects of the formation of populist governments on foreign policy.
    DFG, 2021-2024

    Dr. Johannes Plagemann

    Research Fellow / Speaker Research Team

    Prof. Dr. Sandra Destradi


    Research Project | 01/04/2021 - 31/03/2024

    World Order Narratives of the Global South

    The decades since the late twentieth century are marked by the end of the bipolar world order and the rise of countries of the Global South. Most explanations focus on political and economic power shifts and do not pay much attention to ideas of order, especially those prevalent in the Global South. To provide a more inclusive perspective, this project researches world order narratives in Latin America, Africa, Middle East and Asia. It is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research as part of its Area Studies strategy.
    BMBF, 2021-2024


    Aniket Bhavthankar

    Doctoral Researcher

    So Young Chang

    Doctoral Researcher

    Dr. Sinan Chu

    Research Fellow

    Lukian De Boni

    Doctoral Researcher

    Rosanna Fanni

    Doctoral Researcher

    Dr. Karsten Giese

    Senior Research Fellow

    Cornelis Haasnoot

    Doctoral Researcher

    Prof. Dr. Heike Holbig

    Senior Research Fellow / Editor GIGA Focus Asia

    Jan Klenke

    Doctoral Researcher

    Prof. Dr. Patrick Köllner

    Director of the GIGA Institute for Asian Studies / Vice President

    Dr. Christoph Kubitza

    Research Fellow

    Dr. David Kuehn

    Senior Research Fellow / Coordinator GIGA Forum

    Nora Kürzdörfer

    Doctoral Researcher


    Doctoral Researcher

    Dr. Lars Pelke

    Research Fellow

    Dr. Johannes Plagemann

    Research Fellow / Speaker Research Team

    Dr. Jan Priebe

    Research Fellow / Speaker Research Team

    Dr. Miriam Prys-Hansen

    Lead Research Fellow / Head of RP 4

    Richard Roewer

    Doctoral Researcher

    Dr. Anette Ruml

    Research Fellow

    Dr. Margot Schüller

    Senior Research Fellow

    Dr. Esther Song

    Research Fellow

    Dr. Georg Strüver

    Research Fellow

    Dr. Andreas Ufen

    Senior Research Fellow / Speaker Research Team

    Alex Waterman

    Research Fellow

    Askan Weidemann

    Doctoral Researcher / Representative of Doctoral Researchers

    Dr. Iris Wieczorek

    Senior Research Fellow / GIGA Representative in Japan

    Dr. Christian Wirth

    Research Fellow

    Visiting Fellows

    Dr. Sharinee Jagtiani

    Visiting Fellow

    Dr. Kamo Minobu

    Visiting Fellow

    Sabine Mokry

    Visiting Fellow

    Gustavo Sabbag

    Visiting Fellow


    Scholarly excellence thrives on scholarly exchange, both with other region-specific research institutes and with those that concentrate on theory. At the GIGA, this scholarly exchange also refers to the continued commitment of the GIGA Institute for Asian Studies to cultivating various contacts in Germany and abroad, in both university- and non–university-based research sectors.

    In order to ensure continuous exchange in the areas of information, ideas and research materials and to foster research collaboration, the Institute for Asian Studies maintains a great number of professional relationships with research institutes and libraries in Europe, North America and particularly Asia. The GIGA Institute for Asian Studies is a founding member of the European Alliance for Asian Studies (Asia Alliance). Since 2015 the Asian Studies Institute has organised numerous collaborative international activities under the roof of its Research Platform Asia.

    German Association for Asian Studies

    In Germany the Asian Studies Institute works closely with the German Association for Asian Studies (DGA: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Asienkunde e.V.). It hosts the secretariat of the association and two scholars of the GIGA Institute for Asian Studies currently serve as the DGA’s Managing Director and Deputy Chairperson, respectively.


    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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