Global Orders and Foreign Policies

The Global Orders and Foreign Policies Research Programme deals with the fragmenting global order and its implications for our understanding of multilateralism as well as its problem-solving capacities. The scholars analyse major trends, such as climate change, global health crises, populism, and global power shifts.


  • What kind of regional and global orders develop in contemporary global politics? How do the policies of diverse actors, ranging from powers in the Global South to activists and other non-state actors, affect these regional and global orders and their institutions? Two key processes critically affect global politics today: first, the emergence of new or previously marginalised actors, and second, the development of regionally varying sets of institutions and principles. The Global Orders and Foreign Policies Research Programme studies the new complexity of global politics as a result of these processes, focusing on the future of regional and global institutions and the (foreign) policies of the diverse actors that engage with them.

    We analyse major trends, such as climate change, global health crises, populism, global power shifts, the new importance of South-South relations, and how they transform global order, for instance through the emergence of new steering mechanisms in an increasingly complex global system. This also critically includes research on both traditional foreign policy-making but also the growing importance of transnational linkages between domestic actors, including business, political parties and civil society groups. In doing so, the RP blends International Relations with expertise from comparative politics, economics and other social sciences disciplines represented at the GIGA. Integrating quantitative and qualitative methods, we develop and discuss notions of global order, multilateralism, governance and justice from a diversity of vantage points, with a special focus on those ideas emanating from the regions of the Global South. An important aspect of this work are our manifold partnerships and networks in the GIGA regions. This allows to us contribute to the inclusive theorisation of international affairs and produce policy-relevant empirical expertise.

    We conduct this work in two research teams. The International Institutions and Legitimacy Research Team analyses the interaction of normative changes in the global order with the authority and legitimacy of international institutions, particularly considering global power shifts. The Ideas, Actors and Global Politics Research Team examines how specific actors’ identities, ideas and foreign policy preferences drive transformations of global order. It explores, for instance, the international responsibilities rising powers from the Global South are ready to accept within global multilateralism or the foreign policy preferences of populist governments.

    Dr. Miriam Prys-Hansen

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

    T. +49 (0)40 - 42 88 74-30miriam.prys@giga-hamburg.de

    International Affairs | Oxford University Press | 09/2022

    International relations: the ‘how not to’ guide

    The International Affairs centenary special issue, edited by GIGA President Prof. Narlikar and Prof. Drezner, is a ‘how not to’ guide for international relations. It brings together 14 experts examining historic failures and how policy practitioners and researchers can get it right together.

    Prof. Dr. Daniel W. Drezner

    International Affairs | 09/2022

    International relations: the ‘how not to’ guide – Introduction to the International Affairs centenary special issue

    In this introductory article, GIGA President Prof. Narlikar and Prof. Drezner, guest editors of the International Affairs centenary special issue, outline this ‘how not to’ guide. They explore a Hippocratic oath for international affairs and suggest going beyond this minimum ‘do no harm’ requirement.

    Prof. Dr. Daniel W. Drezner

    International Affairs | 09/2022

    How not to negotiate: the case of trade multilateralism

    The WTO has become an almost perfect example of how not to negotiate. In this article, GIGA President Prof. Narlikar identifies three broad categories of bargaining failures and explores the impact of narratives on the course of events, giving us a clear list of dos and don’ts for international negotiation.

    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.

    Cooperation Event | 08/11/2022 - 09/11/2022

    Integrated Earth System Research Conference 2022

    This first ever conference on ‘Integrated Earth System Research’ will be held on 8 and 9 November 2022 at Telegraphenberg, Potsdam. It is dedicated to scientific advances towards a coherent understanding of the increasing human impacts on the Earth system, their societal consequences, and respective governance challenges. Registration will open late September.

    Deutschlandfunk Kultur | Interview | 12/08/2022

    Debatte um Deglobalisierung – Die wirtschaftliche Entflechtung hat einen Preis

    Die Coronapandemie und der russische Angriffskrieg in der Ukraine haben die weltweiten Logistikketten massiv gestört. Krisen offenbaren die Schwächen der globalisierten Wirtschaft. Vielerorts wird über die Vorteile einer wirtschaftlichen Entflechtung nachgedacht. Diskussionsrunde zur Deglobalisierung.

    Dr. Margot Schüller

    Senior 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.

    SRF Tagesschau | Quote | 10/08/2022

    USA auf Werbetour durch Afrika

    Nur wenige Wochen nach dem russischen Außenminister Lawrow reist sein amerikanischer Amtskollege Blinken nach Afrika. Er stellt dort die auch die neue Afrika-Strategie der US-Regierung vor. 

    Dr. Christian von Soest

    Lead Research Fellow / Head of Research Programme "Peace and Security"

    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

    Policy Paper | 09/2022

    German Feminist Foreign Policy: An Inside-Outside Perspective

    In this article, GIGA President Prof. Dr. Amrita Narlikar discusses German feminist foreign policy from an intersectional and inclusive perspective. This article is translated into Hindi.

    International Affairs | Oxford University Press | 09/2022

    International relations: the ‘how not to’ guide

    The International Affairs centenary special issue, edited by GIGA President Prof. Narlikar and Prof. Drezner, is a ‘how not to’ guide for international relations. It brings together 14 experts examining historic failures and how policy practitioners and researchers can get it right together.

    Prof. Dr. Daniel W. Drezner

    Third World Quarterly | 08/2022

    Continuity Through Change: Populism and Foreign Policy in Turkey

    Empirically, the paper scrutinises how Turkish President Erdoğan switched from conservative democratic to Islamist to nationalist discourses, each with repercussions in the field of foreign policy, and sustained the populist moment through successive dislocations.

    Dr. Hakkı Taş

    Research Fellow

    Blog Article | 08/2022

    Competition and Cooperation: India and China in the Global Climate Regime

    Dr. Miriam Prys-Hansen

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

    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 | 01/01/2022 - 31/12/2024

    Explaining Middle-Power Engagement in External Regions: A Comparison of Iranian, Saudi, and Turkish Sub-Saharan Africa Policies

    By means of a comparative historical analysis of Iranian, Saudi-Arabian, and Turkish engagement in Africa following the continent’s decolonization processes and running up until 2020, this project seeks to make sense of middle-power engagement in external regions. First, the project will identify the periods of shifting IST engagement in Africa. Second, it will analyze the reasons why, and the conditions under which, IST have stepped up—or reduced—their foreign policy efforts in Africa. Third, it will develop mid-range generalizations on middle-power engagement in external regions.
    DFG, 2022-2024

    Dr. Jens Heibach

    Research Fellow

    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

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

    World Order Narratives of the Global South (WONAGO)

    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

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

    Digital Diplomacy and Statecraft: Digital Transformation Lab (DigiTraL)

    The Digital Transformation Lab (DigiTraL) has a tripod structure. The lab currently focusses on Leg I – “Digital Diplomacy and Statecraft”, funded by the Federal Foreign Office. (Legs II “Digital Development and Sustainability” and III “Digital Warfare and Peace” are planned to complement the work at a later stage.) "DigiTraL Diplo" focuses on how digital transformation offers new opportunities, challenges, and instruments for foreign policy. It will identify the chances and (security) threats of digitalization to advance adequate responses of (digital) diplomacy.
    FFO, 2021-2023

    Team

    Rafael Castro Alegría

    Doctoral Researcher

    Dr. Sinan Chu

    Research Fellow

    Dr. Khalil Dahbi

    Research Fellow

    Lukian De Boni

    Doctoral Researcher

    Mira Demirdirek

    Research Fellow

    Anna Fünfgeld

    Doctoral Researcher

    Ardahan Özkan Gedikli

    Doctoral Researcher

    Dr. Jens Heibach

    Research Fellow

    Prof. Dr. Heike Holbig

    Senior Research Fellow / Editor GIGA Focus Asia

    Markus A. Kirchschlager

    Doctoral Researcher

    Jan Klenke

    Doctoral Researcher

    Prof. Dr. Patrick Köllner

    Director of the GIGA Institute for Asian Studies / Vice President

    Niklas Krösche

    Doctoral Researcher

    Medha

    Doctoral Researcher

    Diba Mirzaei

    Doctoral Researcher

    Johanna Pieper

    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"

    Mona Saleh

    Doctoral Researcher

    Swantje Schirmer

    Doctoral Researcher

    Dr. Henning Schmidtke

    Research Fellow / Research Team Spokesperson

    Dr. Esther Song

    Research Fellow

    Dr. Georg Strüver

    Research Fellow

    Hamid Talebian

    Doctoral Researcher

    Dr. Hakkı Taş

    Research Fellow

    Dr. Iris Wieczorek

    Senior Research Fellow / GIGA Representative in Japan

    Dr. Christian Wirth

    Research Fellow

    Ximena Zapata M.

    Doctoral Researcher


    Research Teams

    The researchers in the Global Orders and Foreign Policies Programme are organised in two teams that deal with the new complexity of global politics:

    • The International Institutions and Legitimacy Research Team examines the interaction of normative changes in the global order with the authority and legitimacy of international institutions, particularly considering global power shifts .

    • The Ideas, Actors and Global Politics Research Team analyses the specific processes involved in the crafting of individual foreign policies as well as, more general, visions of international order across the Global South.


    Research Team 1: International Institutions and Legitimacy

    The International Institutions and Legitimacy Research Team examines the politics of international institutional development. We analyse how the rise of powers from the Global South, transnational activist groups, and other influential non-state actors shapes the formation of regionally varying sets of institutions and principles and how these regional transformations contribute to the growing complexity of the global multilateral order. This increasingly polycentric order provides, on the one hand, increased opportunities for interaction and more flexibility in terms of partner choice at the regional and international levels. On the other hand, the multiplication and overlapping of institutions engendered by the new order have caused fragmentation and disorder that call into question the normative foundations and empirical legitimacy of the multilateral order and its elemental institutions. Against this backdrop, we address the following questions:

    • Do global power shift and rising multipolarity trigger the spread of equity norms? How does the rise of equity norms shape the legitimacy of international institutions?

    • What are the effects of the widespread democratic backsliding and the emergence of China as a global power on democracy and human rights promotion through international organisations?

    • How do regional organisations legitimise themselves in this transforming environment, what communicative and institutional legitimation strategies do regional organisations use, and what factors explain differences and similarities across world regions?

    • How does the growing complexity of the international order shape the legitimacy of political institutions across levels of governance ?

    Spokesperson Team 1

    Dr. Henning Schmidtke

    Research Fellow / Research Team Spokesperson



    Research Team 2: Ideas, Actors and Global Politics

    Globalisation processes of the past decades have contributed to the internationalisation of domestic actors – from businesses to political parties or civil society groups. Meanwhile, a number of states in the Global South, from rising powers such as China and India to regional or middle powers such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia, have gained diplomatic visibility, economic influence, and political importance in an increasingly multipolar world. Thus, the specific political ideas, narratives, and ideologies endorsed by domestic actors involved in foreign policy-making in the Global South have become more important for understanding today’s international affairs. RT2 explores the variety of domestic and transnational actors involved in global and regional politics, their respective foreign policy interests, negotiation strategies, and worldviews. Taking into account domestic institutions and politics, team members also analyse the specific processes involved in the crafting of individual foreign policies as well as, more general, visions of international order across the Global South. Against this backdrop, we address the following questions:

    • How do global power shifts affect foreign policy roles across the Global South – and what are the consequences thereof for international “order”?

    • What are the origins and the specific content of normative ideas and political ideologies that affect the foreign policies of rising powers?

    • How do smaller (“secondary”) states react to the new competition amongst and between rising and established powers?

    • How do Diasporas and their politicisation affect international politics?

    • What impact does the formation of populist governments have on foreign policy?

    Spokesperson Team 2

    Dr. Johannes Plagemann

    Research Fellow / Research Team Spokesperson


    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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