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, economic development, 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. Since 2017 the GIGA has granted several “GIGA India Fellowships” to India specialists to spend time as Visiting Fellows at the GIGA Institute for Asian Studies. Some former Visiting Fellows are now Associates of the institute. Together with its French partner, the Institute for International Studies (CERI) at the SciencesPo Paris, in 2021 the GIGA launched the Franco-German Observatory of the Indo-Pacific, which organises a webinar series, joint conferences, and other exchanges.

    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 74-17patrick.koellner@giga-hamburg.de

    Secretariat


    GIGA Focus Asia | 1/2023

    Disengagement from China: United States and European Union Policies Compared

    Comparing US and European China policies of recent years reveals a widening gap. While the Biden administration’s China policy is fixated on competition and national security, and preoccupied with renewing US global leadership, the EU essentially remains open to cooperation with China.

    Dr. Margot Schüller

    Senior Research Fellow

    RTL Aktuell | Interview | 19/01/2023

    Die neuseeländische Premierministerin Jacinda Ardern kündigt Rücktritt an: Einschätzungen und Reaktionen

    Prof. Dr. Patrick Köllner

    Director of the GIGA Institute for Asian Studies / Vice President

    In Brief | 18/01/2023

    GIGA President Professor Amrita Narlikar Serves as Co-Chair of Think20 Taskforce

    Think20 (T20) invited GIGA President Professor Amrita Narlikar to serve as a Co-Chair of Taskforce 3: Lifestyle for Environment, Resilience, and Values for Wellbeing during India’s G20 Presidency in 2023. T20 is an official G20 engagement group.

    Chapter in Edited Volume | 11/2022

    Official Visions of Democracy in Xi Jinping’s China

    The objective of this chapter is to analyse the self-perceptions and worldviews of China as a major global power and an increasingly important actor in Eurasia.

    Prof. Dr. Heike Holbig

    Senior Research Fellow / Editor GIGA Focus Asia

    Spiegel Online Video | Interview | 14/01/2023

    So will Indien klimaneutral werden

    Miriam Prys-Hansen kommentiert den Ausbau von Solarenergie in Indien und deren Beitrag zur Erreichung ambitionierer Klimaziele. 

    Dr. Miriam Prys-Hansen

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

    GIGA Focus Asia | 1/2023

    Disengagement from China: United States and European Union Policies Compared

    Comparing US and European China policies of recent years reveals a widening gap. While the Biden administration’s China policy is fixated on competition and national security, and preoccupied with renewing US global leadership, the EU essentially remains open to cooperation with China.

    Dr. Margot Schüller

    Senior Research Fellow

    Chapter in Edited Volume | 01/2023

    Futures in the Making: An Analysis of Indian Climate Policy Articulations

    This chapter assesses how different Indian actors imagine climate futures and whether different actors and their ideas are connected.

    Dr. Miriam Prys-Hansen

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

    Chapter in Edited Volume | 01/2023

    Tales of Presidentialization in Post-Suharto Indonesia

    Dr. Andreas Ufen

    Senior Research Fellow / Research Team Spokesperson

    Asian Journal of Comparative Politics | 12/2022

    Long-Term Effects of Political Violence on Political Trust: Evidence from the Case of Gwangju Massacre in South Korea, 1980

    Using the Gwangju Massacre in South Korea as a case, this paper finds that indirect and direct experience of state-perpetrated violence of the critical-period cohort can have long-term negative effects on trust levels towards the government.

    Dr. Esther Song

    Research Fellow

    GIGA Focus Global | 7/2022

    G20: The Global South’s New Status-Seeking Platform?

    The G20 is now a central forum for solving the current global polycrisis. It has also become a place where Global South governments, like India’s or Turkey’s, seek to acquire and project higher status on the world stage. Policymakers need to understand and embrace this key foreign policy dynamic.

    Research Project | 01/07/2022 - 30/06/2025

    Transfer for Transformation – Knowledge Exchange with Global Reach (T4T)

    Transfer for Transformation (T4T) is an application lab. Its topical focus are political and economic transformations (also in the digital arena) in the Global South. T4T will innovate in the practice of knowledge transfer through consequent target-group-integration and novel access strategies. It will also advance the scholarship on the subject by analysing the effectiveness and impact of different types of knowledge transfer.
    Leibniz Association, 2022-2025

    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 policy-oriented research project bringing together the GIGA and the East Asia Institute in Seoul. The project aims at analysing German/EU and Korean strategies for Indo-Pacific engagement and identifying areas for in-depth consultation, coordination and cooperation.
    Korea Foundation, 2022

    Prof. Dr. Sook-Jong Lee

    Prof. Dr. Yul Sohn

    Prof. Dr. Chaesung Chun

    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 | 01/09/2021 - 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

    Prof. Dr. Mark Hallerberg

    Prof. Dr. Slava Jankin

    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 / Research Team Spokesperson

    Prof. Dr. Sandra Destradi

    Formerly Associate

    Team

    Dr. Sinan Chu

    Research Fellow

    Lukian De Boni

    Doctoral Researcher

    Dr. Karsten Giese

    Senior Research Fellow

    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

    Dr. Johannes Plagemann

    Research Fellow / Research Team Spokesperson

    Dr. Miriam Prys-Hansen

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

    Wolfgang Rudischhauser

    Diplomat in Residence and Fellow

    Dr. Anette Ruml

    Research Fellow

    Dr. Margot Schüller

    Senior Research Fellow

    Dr. Esther Song

    Research Fellow

    Dr. Andreas Ufen

    Senior Research Fellow / Research Team Spokesperson

    Alex Waterman

    Research Fellow

    Askan Weidemann

    Doctoral Researcher

    Dr. Iris Wieczorek

    Senior Research Fellow / GIGA Representative in Japan



    Visiting Fellows

    Thomas Kalinowski

    Visiting Fellow

    Dr. Kamo Minobu

    Visiting Fellow

    Dr. Yang Yishuang

    Visiting Fellow


    Cooperations

    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.

    President

    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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