GIGA Institute for Latin American Studies

The GIGA Institute for Latin American Studies conducts research on political and economic developments in the countries of South and Central America and the Caribbean. Core topics include the quality of political institutions and participation, challenges posed by conflicts and crime, and regional integration.


  • The GIGA Institute for Latin American Studies is the only non‐university research institute in Germany that is dedicated to the analysis of political, social, and economic developments in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). GIGAs Latin America scholars research, among other topics, the quality of democratic institutions and participation; the challenges posed by violence and crime; the interaction of inequality and politics; social, health and gender policies; immigration and emigration; and regional integration, with publications in lead journals and active knowledge transfer efforts.

    The GIGA Institute for Latin American Studies has a global reputation as one of the leading academic centres on LAC in Europe, and has a constant flow of doctoral and visiting researchers from LAC countries. GIGAs Latin America scholars have recently held leadership roles in organisations such as the German Latin American Studies Association (ADLAF), the Latin American Political Science Association (ALACIP), and the American Political Science Association (APSA). Moreover, the regional institute hosts the secretariat of the network “Red Euro‐Latinoamericana de Gobernabilidad para el Desarrollo” (RedGob), and co-edits, with Prof. Rossana Castiglioni from Universidad Diego Portales in Santiago de Chile, the Journal of Politics in Latin America, one of the four peer‐reviewed Open Access journals of the GIGA Journal Family. 

    The GIGA Institute for Latin American Studies is also actively engaged in knowledge exchange with the policy community, both here in Germany and the European Union as well as in LAC, most recently as a co-organiser, with the German Foreign Office, of a high-level event at the EU-LAC Foreign Ministers conference in 2020.

    In April 2022, the GIGA Institute for Latin American Studies will hold its inaugural Policy Challenges in Latin America conference. This event, which also counts on the co-operation of the EU-LAC Foundation, will bring together a group of top social scientists from institutions in Latin America, Europe and the United States. More information will be forthcoming soon!

    Prof. Dr. Merike Blofield

    Director of the GIGA Institute for Latin American Studies

    T. +49 (0)40 - 428 25-560merike.blofield@giga-hamburg.de

    Secretariat

    Stephanie Stövesand

    Secretary


    GIGA Focus Latin America | 2/2023

    The European Union and Latin America: Renewing the Partnership after Drifting Apart

    As the strategic value of the region has increased for Europe, the EU is now seeking to renew its partnership with Latin America and the Caribbean. But many of the latter’s governments prefer an active non-alignment in international politics. An EU-LAC summit is planned for July 2023.

    DW | Quote | 29/01/2023

    Após ostracismo de Bolsonaro, Alemanha se aproxima do Brasil

    Viagem de Olaf Scholz a Brasília busca restabelecer parceria histórica entre os dois países. Mas caminho pode ser mais difícil do que aparenta.

    Prof. Dr. Mariana Llanos

    Lead Research Fellow

    Deutsche Welle | Interview | 20/01/2023

    ¿Quién está detrás de las protestas en Perú?

    Las violentas protestas que exigen la dimisión de la Presidenta Dina Boluarte han causado ya más de 50 muertos en Perú. Algunos acusan incluso al ex presidente boliviano Evo Morales de instigar las protestas, mientras que otros apuntan a un profundo descontento, especialmente en el sur del país. 

    Johanna Pieper

    Doctoral Researcher

    SZ | Quote | 13/01/2023

    Bolsonaro zündelt wieder

    Nach den Ausschreitungen im Regierungsviertel der brasilianischen Hauptstadt verbreitet der Rechtspopulist weiter den Mythos vom Wahlbetrug - und das Land treibt eine Frage um: Könnte der Ex-Präsident am Ende im Gefängnis landen?

    Prof. Dr. Mariana Llanos

    Lead Research Fellow

    ZDF | Interview | 29/12/2021

    Lost Places: Peróns Argentinien

    Ein Dokumentarfilm über die 1940er Jahre in Argentinien über vergessene Orten und Schauplätze des einstigen argentinischen Traums von Stärke und Wohlstand.

    Prof. Dr. Mariana Llanos

    Lead Research Fellow

    GIGA Focus Latin America | 2/2023

    The European Union and Latin America: Renewing the Partnership after Drifting Apart

    As the strategic value of the region has increased for Europe, the EU is now seeking to renew its partnership with Latin America and the Caribbean. But many of the latter’s governments prefer an active non-alignment in international politics. An EU-LAC summit is planned for July 2023.

    GIGA Focus Latin America | 1/2023

    Closing Spaces: The Last Bulwark of Nicaraguan Civil Society under Attack

    The Nicaraguan government’s attack on Catholic priests is bringing the former alliance between the government and the Church to breaking point, while contributing also to the gradual implosion of the authoritarian regime. While the Pope encourages dialogue, the space for civil society has eroded.

    Désirée Reder

    Doctoral Researcher

    Edited Volume | Routledge | 2023

    Contested, Violated but Persistent: Presidential Term Limits in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa

    This book generates new empirical and theoretical insights by bringing together the scholarship on Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa, providing context-bound intraregional research as well as long-term perspectives for the study of term-limit change. The chapters were originally published as a special issue of Democratization.

    Prof. Dr. Mariana Llanos

    Lead Research Fellow

    GIGA Focus Latin America | 6/2022

    Facing the Stress Test: Courts and Executives during the COVID-19 Pandemic

    Courts are highly relevant in controlling executive abuses of power in exceptional situations like the COVID-19 pandemic. Latin America’s courts were ready and able to set such limits. Illiberal presidents may heavily undermine judicial independence if they have the legislative support to do so.

    Prof. Dr. Mariana Llanos

    Lead Research Fellow

    Dr. Cordula Tibi Weber

    Research Fellow

    Blog Article | 12/2022

    How not to do Equal Opportunity, Diversity and Inclusion in Academia: Ten Commandments

    GIGA President Prof. Amrita Narlikar and Dr. Cecilia Sottilotta outline ten pitfalls to avoid when working on Equal opportunity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in social science and beyond.

    Cecilia Emma Sottilotta

    Formerly Visiting Fellow

    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 | 01/10/2021 - 01/10/2022

    COVID-19 in Latin America: The Role of Social Protections for Households with Children

    This project analyzes the socio-economic fall-out of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the intervening role of social protections, on families with children in eight Latin American countries. The region, with high levels of inequality, labor informality, and urbanization, has been particularly hard hit by both pandemic deaths and economic effects. The social protection responses, however, have varied dramatically, from a massive emergency assistance plan in Brazil to virtually no additional cash transfer aid in Mexico.
    DFG, 2021-2022

    Prof. Dr. Merike Blofield

    Director of the GIGA Institute for Latin American Studies

    Dr. Juliana Martínez Franzoni

    University of Costa Rica

    Research Project | 01/05/2021 - 30/04/2026

    Democratic Institutions in the Global South (DEMINGS)

    This project contributes new knowledge on the functioning of democratic institutions in the Global South, their (in)efficacy to constrain powerful executives, and the effects of particular institutions on both democratic quality and regime stability. The focus is on countries with presidential constitutions, i.e., those with directly elected presidents, an institutional choice that extended worldwide in the last decades.
    Leibniz Competition, 2021-2026

    Prof. Dr. Mariana Llanos

    Lead Research Fellow

    Eduardo Tamaki

    Doctoral Researcher

    Research Project | 01/05/2021 - 31/12/2025

    German-Latin American Centre of Infection & Epidemiology Research and Training (GLACIER)

    The COVID-19 pandemic is showing that infectious diseases can only be solved by global efforts; and that medical and social approaches must go hand in hand in order to provide solutions. Based on this understanding, the GIGA has become part of the new multi-disciplinary DAAD-funded „German-Latin American Centre of Infection & Epidemiology Research and Training“ – GLACIER and will work on a comparative study of vaccination policies in Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean. DAAD, 2021-2025

    Prof. Dr. Bert Hoffmann

    Lead Research Fellow / Head GIGA Berlin Office

    Valeria Morales

    Doctoral Researcher

    Research Project | 01/04/2021 - 31/03/2025

    INFECTIONS in an Urbanizing World - Humans, Animals, Environments

    The Leibniz Research Alliance INFECTIONS promotes interdisciplinary research across several sections of the Leibniz Association. It focuses on the spread of antimicrobial resistant (AMR) microbes in an urbanizing society. This is a topical issue since a number of endemic infectious diseases are the leading cause of disease and mortality worldwide. In addition, humanity is increasingly challenged by emerging infectious agents that are often zoonotic in nature, such as the coronavirus outbreak.
    Leibniz Association, 2021-2025

    Research Project | 01/03/2021 - 31/08/2022

    COVID-19 and the Dynamics of (Post-)War Violence: Lessons from Colombia and Syria

    What are the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the dynamics of violence during and after civil wars? The project analyses the pandemic-related reconfiguration of social and political orders in a comparative study of Syria and Colombia at subnational levels. In this way, it will provide new knowledge on violence dynamics in two of the most complex conflicts today and be able to suggest crucial lessons for similar (post-)war contexts in other parts of the world.
    Volkswagen Foundation, 2021-2022

    Research Project | 01/01/2021 - 31/12/2023

    Democratizing Security in Turbulent Times

    How is security provided in turbulent times and how does this affect the relationship between democracy and security? The proposed research training group examines fundamental reconfigurations of the relationship between security and democracy against the backdrop of growing political and societal polarisation, the advent of new digital technologies and the rescaling of security to arenas below and beyond the state.
    Landesforschungsförderung Hamburg, 2021-2023

    Prof. Dr. Sabine Kurtenbach

    Lead Research Fellow / Editor GIGA Focus Latin America Editor GIGA Focus Global

    Research Project | 01/01/2021 - 31/12/2023

    PEACEptions

    Providing a conceptual framework in which different ideas of peace can be highlighted and their differences analysed in order to be able to formulate concrete proposals for peacebuilding is at the heart of this project. The concept is based on three elements whose meaning crosses historical and cultural boundaries: physical integrity, individual and collective human rights, and constructive conflict transformation.
    FES, 2021-2023

    Kristina Birke Daniels

    Katharina Wegner

    Nina Netzer

    Team

    Prof. Dr. Merike Blofield

    Director of the GIGA Institute for Latin American Studies

    Rafael Castro Alegría

    Doctoral Researcher

    Yannick Deepen

    Research Fellow

    Katharina Fietz

    Doctoral Researcher

    Anna Fünfgeld

    Doctoral Researcher

    Cornelius Haritz

    Doctoral Researcher

    Aline-Sophia Hirseland

    Doctoral Researcher

    Prof. Dr. Bert Hoffmann

    Lead Research Fellow / Head GIGA Berlin Office

    Indi-Carolina Kryg

    Doctoral Researcher / Representative of Doctoral Researchers

    Prof. Dr. Sabine Kurtenbach

    Lead Research Fellow / Editor GIGA Focus Latin America Editor GIGA Focus Global

    Prof. Dr. Mariana Llanos

    Lead Research Fellow

    Jayane Maia

    Doctoral Researcher

    Valeria Morales

    Doctoral Researcher

    Daniela Osorio Michel

    Research Fellow

    Johanna Pieper

    Doctoral Researcher

    Désirée Reder

    Doctoral Researcher

    Jorge A. Rincón Barajas

    Doctoral Researcher

    Alina Ripplinger

    Doctoral Researcher

    Dr. Henning Schmidtke

    Research Fellow / Research Team Spokesperson

    Ana Soares

    Doctoral Researcher

    Eduardo Tamaki

    Doctoral Researcher

    Dr. Cordula Tibi Weber

    Research Fellow

    Siri Völker

    Doctoral Researcher / Research Data Management

    Ximena Zapata M.

    Doctoral Researcher



    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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