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

    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 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

    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"

    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.

    Global Policy | Interview | 05/01/2023

    “The West uses double standards” - An Interview with Amrita Narlikar

    GIGA President Prof. Amrita Narlikar shares her insights on what leads to arrogance towards the Global South, what German foreign policy can do better and why India does not belong in the same corner as China.

    Spotlight on... | 19/01/2023

    "Spotlight on..." New Doctoral Researcher Houssein Al Malla

    Houssein Al Malla joined the GIGA Doctoral Programme in October 2022. He is currently working on his dissertation titled “Personality and Foreign Policy: The Role of Political Psychology in Accounting for the Outcomes of International Sanctions”. Get to know Houssein in this interview.

    Deutschlandfunk Nova | Interview | 19/01/2023

    Rücktritt der neuseeländischen Premierministerin Jacinda Ardern: Was steckt dahinter?

    Prof. Dr. Patrick Köllner

    Director of the GIGA Institute for Asian Studies / Vice President

    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"

    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 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"

    GIGA Focus Africa | 1/2023

    Ten Things to Watch in Africa in 2023

    Russia’s war against Ukraine has accelerated international competition for influence in Africa. Structural weaknesses and post-pandemic instabilities continue to threaten democratic governance, peace, and development. We present a selective list and analysis of “ten things to watch” in Africa in 2023.

    Prof. Dr. Matthias Basedau

    Director of the GIGA Institute for African Affairs / Editor GIGA Focus Africa

    Dr. Julia Grauvogel

    Senior Research Fellow / Research Team Spokesperson

    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 | 01/03/2022 - 28/02/2025

    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, 2022-2025

    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 | 01/09/2021 - 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 Diplomacy and Statecraft” is funded by the Federal Foreign Office. It focuses on how digitalisation offers new opportunities, challenges, and instruments for foreign policy. It will identify the options and (security) threats of digitalisation to develop timely responses of (digital) diplomacy.
    FFO, 2021-2022

    Team

    Houssein Al Malla

    Doctoral Researcher / Representative of Doctoral Researchers

    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 / Representative of Doctoral Researchers

    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"

    Wolfgang Rudischhauser

    Diplomat in Residence and Fellow

    Mona Saleh

    Doctoral Researcher

    Dr. Henning Schmidtke

    Research Fellow / Research Team Spokesperson

    Dr. Esther Song

    Research Fellow

    Hamid Talebian

    Doctoral Researcher

    Dr. Hakkı Taş

    Research Fellow

    Dr. Iris Wieczorek

    Senior Research Fellow / GIGA Representative in Japan

    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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