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


    Award | 18/09/2022

    Mariana Llanos and Aníbal Pérez-Liñán awarded the Jewell-Loewenberg Paper Award

    Mariana Llanos and Aníbal Pérez-Liñán has received the Jewell-Loewenberg Paper Award of the American Political Science Association (APSA). Their paper “Oversight or Representation? Public Opinion and Impeachment Resolutions in Argentina and Brazil” was named the best article in Legislative Studies Quarterly.

    GIGA Forum | 29/09/2022

    Attacking the Vote: Election Fears in Brazil and Beyond

    Many people fear rigged elections, when, on 2 October 2022, more than 150 million Brazilians are called to vote. President Jair Bolsonaro, seeking re-election, has repeatedly impugned the voting system. At this GIGA Forum, experts explore flawed, corrupt, or failed elections in Latin America, Asia, and Africa.

    GIGA Focus Latin America | 4/2022

    Chile’s Constitutional Reform Process Rebooted

    Although Chileans are overwhelmingly in favour of a new constitution, in a referendum held on 4 September, 62 per cent of those who voted rejected the proposal drawn up by a democratically elected Constitutional Convention. The struggle for a new constitution is thus entering the next round.

    Zeit Online | Quote | 05/09/2022

    Chile: Eine neue Verfassung, aber nicht diese

    Prof. Dr. Mariana Llanos

    Lead Research Fellow

    Research | 21/08/2022

    ECPR General Conference 2022: GIGA Scientists Present Their Research

    This year, GIGA researchers will again present their research results at the main conference of the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) in virtual lectures and on-site panels in Innsbruck, Austria. The annual congress serves as a networking event and drives the development of research in all Political Science subdisciplines.

    Review of International Organizations | 09/2022

    Measuring Precision Precisely: A Dictionary-Based Measure of Imprecision

    What to learn more about the precision of international agreements? This publication offers a robust empirical measure of this central International Relations concept. We show that the mandates of international organizations can be very vague, opening room for interpretation and manipulation.

    Dr. Markus Gastinger

    Dr. Henning Schmidtke

    Research Fellow / Research Team Spokesperson

    GIGA Focus Latin America | 4/2022

    Chile’s Constitutional Reform Process Rebooted

    Although Chileans are overwhelmingly in favour of a new constitution, in a referendum held on 4 September, 62 per cent of those who voted rejected the proposal drawn up by a democratically elected Constitutional Convention. The struggle for a new constitution is thus entering the next round.

    Infographic | 08/2022

    Regional Neighbourhoods Matter for Peacebuilding

    Neighbours, regional organisations and networks of different actors play an important role for conflict dynamics. They can either promote peacebuilding or the prolongation and escalation of violent conflicts. The infographic illustrates this.

    GIGA Focus Global | 3/2022

    COVID-19 and Violent Actors in the Global South: A Complex Relationship

    A cross-regional comparative analysis of the effects of COVID-19 on violence shows high levels of variation between contexts and in terms of specific armed actors. While Latin America along with the Middle East and North Africa have experienced an overall reduction, violence in sub-Saharan Africa has increased.

    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

    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 Editor GIGA Focus Latin America

    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 / General Editor GIGA Focus 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

    Aline-Sophia Hirseland

    Doctoral Researcher

    Prof. Dr. Bert Hoffmann

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

    Indi-Carolina Kryg

    Office of the President / Doctoral Researcher

    Prof. Dr. Sabine Kurtenbach

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

    Prof. Dr. Mariana Llanos

    Lead Research Fellow

    Jayane Maia

    Doctoral Researcher

    Valeria Morales

    Doctoral Researcher

    Johanna Pieper

    Doctoral Researcher

    Désirée Reder

    Doctoral Researcher

    Jorge A. Rincón Barajas

    Doctoral Researcher / Representative of Doctoral Researchers

    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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