Globalisation and Development

The Globalisation and Development Research Programme studies the economic and political foundations of inclusive and sustainable development in a globalised world economy and strives to bridge theory and practice by engaging in fundamental empirical research, in policy analysis, and in designing new policy interventions.


  • How to achieve inclusive and sustainable development? Globalisation and economic development have transformed the lives of many for the better. Yet persistent or even rising economic, social, and political inequality, and climate change and environmental degradation call into question the capacity of globalisation and multilateral trade and investment rules, as well as the prevailing pattern of development to deliver progress for all and to respect our planetary boundaries. The Globalisation and Development Research Programme studies the economic, political and social foundations of inclusive and sustainable development.

    Our research is primarily empirical in nature and focuses on practical solutions to reconcile economic development and globalisation, human development, and sustainability through better policies, governance, and practices. We draw on the regional knowledge and broad methodological expertise of GIGA researchers from development economics and related disciplines, especially comparative politics, and international political economy. Our particular strengths are in original data collection, experimentation, and policy innovation. We strive to bridge the gap between theory and practice by engaging in fundamental research, in policy analysis, and in designing and testing new policy interventions. Much of our research is therefore carried out in partnership with national governments, international development agencies, and NGOs. We engage in high-level policy dialogues, have well-established working relation with policy-makers and practitioners, including in the Global South, and conduct rigorous impact evaluations.

    We focus on three research areas that address different aspects of inclusive and sustainable development in the Global South. The Trade, Investment and Sustainable Transformation Research Team studies the ambiguous impacts of global forces, such as digitalisation, global value chains, international investments, as well as the representation of the Global South in international trade and investment negotiations. The Institutions, Governance and Political Economy Research Team investigates the quality and performance of institutions and governance processes and their capacity to contribute to inclusive and sustainable development. The Education, Health and Employment Research Team analyses mechanisms to overcome poverty, exclusion and inequality. It focuses on labor markets, the inequalities in access to (quality) health care and education as well as the role of social protection.

    GIGA Talk | 19/01/2022

    With the Help of God(s)? Religious Actors and Sustainable Development in Africa

    Religious actors can both promote and undermine sustainable development. Many stakeholders and scholars recognise the relevant role of religious actors and place great hope in their potential. Alongside GIGA scholars, members of the “Africa Multiple” Cluster of Excellence from Universität Bayreuth will discuss this topic in depth and take questions from the audience at the next GIGA Talk/Forum.

    Online Conference | 06/12/2021 - 07/12/2021

    Sustainability in Global Value Chains

    This event offers the opportunity to link long-term recovery strategies to the guiding principles and objectives of the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Video of the 2021 Forum on Globalization and Industrialization now online!

    Journal of Human Resources | 12/2021

    Agricultural Productivity and Fertility Rates: Evidence from the Oil Palm Boom in Indonesia

    The authors analyse the link between agricultural productivity growth and fertility rates, using the oil palm boom in Indonesia as an empirical setting. They find consistent negative effects of oil palm expansion on fertility during the period 1996-2016. This article aims to explain these findings.

    Dr. Esther Gehrke

    Dr. Christoph Kubitza

    Research Fellow

    Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy | 10/2021

    Effects of Contract Farming on Diets and Nutrition in Ghana

    Contract farming gained importance in many developing countries. Effects of contracting on smallholder farmers' incomes were analyzed in previous studies. In this article, the authors examine the effects of contract farming on dietary diversity and child anthropometrics, using survey data from the palm oil sector in Ghana.

    Dr. Bethelhem Legesse Debela

    Prof. Dr. Matin Qaim

    GIGA Forum | 30/09/2021

    Few Benefits, Huge Risks: Taking Stock of the Global Land Rush

    Since the surge of large-scale land acquisitions by international investors starting a decade ago, the Land Matrix Initiative has recorded land deals with a staggering total contract size of 30 million hectares. Experts will discuss the alarming results of its third Analytical Report at the GIGA Forum/GIGA Talk.

    American Journal of Agricultural Economics | 10/2021

    Technical Efficiency and Farmland Expansion: Evidence from Oil Palm Smallholders in Indonesia

    Dr. Bernhard Dalheimer

    Bernhard Brümmer

    Webinar | 28/09/2021

    Launch of the Land Matrix Analytical Report III: Taking Stock of the Global Land Rush

    Analytical Report now online! In this webinar, the Land Matrix Initiative launched its third analytical report, “Taking Stock of the Global Land Rush”. Guests got the opportunity to discuss the findings and policy recommendations emerging from the report with its authors as well as other prominent experts in the field.

    Monograph | 2021

    Taking Stock of the Global Land Rush: Few Development Benefits, many Human and Environmental Risks

    More than a decade after the surge in large-scale land acquisition in the Global South, the Land Matrix Initiative takes stock of the "global land rush" and its socioeconomic and environmental impacts in its third analytical report. The findings are alarming.

    Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics | 01/2022

    Contract Farming, Contract Design and Smallholder Livelihoods

    The authors examine associations between contract farming and farm household income in the oil palm sector of Ghana, explicitly differentiating between two types of contracts, namely simple marketing contracts and more comprehensive resource-providing contracts.

    Dr. Catherine Ragasa

    Prof. Dr. Matin Qaim

    Journal of Human Resources | 12/2021

    Agricultural Productivity and Fertility Rates: Evidence from the Oil Palm Boom in Indonesia

    The authors analyse the link between agricultural productivity growth and fertility rates, using the oil palm boom in Indonesia as an empirical setting. They find consistent negative effects of oil palm expansion on fertility during the period 1996-2016. This article aims to explain these findings.

    Dr. Esther Gehrke

    Dr. Christoph Kubitza

    Research Fellow

    Journal of Technology Transfer | 12/2021

    University Satellite Institutes as Exogenous Facilitators of Technology Transfer Ecosystem Development

    Henning Kroll

    Prof. Dr. Cornelia Storz

    Prof. Dr. Tobias ten Brink

    Policy paper | 11/2021

    Why a Narrative of the #PandemicOfTheUnvaccinated Risks Prolonging the Pandemic

    Prof. Amrita Narlikar and Dr. Cecilia Sottilotta discuss in this paper the responsibility of unvaccinated people for the sudden rise in COVID-19 cases in Europe. This article was first published as an ORF Policy Paper.

    Cecilia Emma Sottilotta

    Visiting Fellow

    Research Project | 01/01/2022 - 31/12/2022

    Land-Based Investments in Global Supply Chains and the Protection of Vulnerable Groups

    The second phase of the research project “Large-Scale Land Acquisitions, Rural Change, and Social Conflict” focuses on the socio-economic impact of large-scale land acquisitions (LSLA) on local populations, particularly in terms of communal land rights and indigenous groups. Furthermore, it investigates the relationship between LSLA and global (agricultural) supply chains. The project aims to synthesise existing research and generate new evidence at the intersection of rural development and sustainable production and consumption.
    BMZ, 2022

    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

    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

    Dr. Jan Priebe

    Research Fellow / Speaker Research Team

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

    Digital Diplomacy and Statecraft (DigiTraL Diplo): Leg I of GIGA Digital Transformation Lab (DigiTraL) - A Global Approach to Digitalisation

    Digital Diplomacy and Statecraft (DigiTraL Diplo) is funded by the Federal Foreign Office. It is the first leg of a larger research endeavour, envisioned to include Digtal Warfare and Development 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

    Research Project | 01/09/2020 - 31/08/2026

    Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa

    MIASA, based at the University of Legon, Ghana, is one of five Maria Sibylla Merian Centres for Advanced Studies, funded by the German Ministry for Education and Research. Its overall aim is to work towards a reduction of global asymmetries in knowledge production and bridging the cultural divide between anglophone and francophone Africa. MIASA's thematical focus is on sustainable governance. The GIGA contributes to the Interdisciplinary Fellow Group on ‘Sustainable Rural Transformation’ and its outreach activities.
    BMBF, 2020-2026

    Research Project | 01/09/2020 - 31/08/2022

    Research Network Sustainable Global Supply Chains

    The aim of the research network is to contribute to the sustainability of global supply chains through research. It initiates new research, pools the expertise of leading scientists around the world and makes new findings accessible for political decision-makers and other stakeholders. The network is hosted by a consortium of the German Development Institute (DIE), the GIGA, the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW) and the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP).
    BMZ, 2020-2022

    Prof. Dr. Jann Lay

    Lead Research Fellow / Head of RP 3

    Research Project | 01/01/2020 - 31/12/2023

    Integrated Analyses of Policies for Sustainable Rural Economies (CRC 990, phase 3, project C11)

    The Collaborative Research Center EFForTS (Ecological and Socioeconomic Functions of Tropical Lowland Rainforest Transformation Systems, coordinated by the University of Göttingen) aims at providing science-based knowledge on how to protect and enhance the ecological functions of tropical forests and agricultural transformation systems at a landscape scale, while improving human welfare. In the third phase of EFForTS, the GIGA leads the projects B10 on landscape-level assessment of functions and C11 on policies for sustainable rural transformations.
    DFG, 2020-2023

    Dr. Marife D. Corre

    Prof. Dr. Ingo Grass

    Prof. Dr. Kerstin Wiegand

    Prof. Dr. Meike Wollni

    Team

    Christof Althoff

    Research Fellow

    Prof. Dr. Merike Blofield

    Director of the GIGA Institute for Latin American Studies

    Andrew Crawford

    Doctoral Researcher

    Katharina Fietz

    Doctoral Researcher

    Daniel Geissel

    Doctoral Researcher

    Dr. Karsten Giese

    Senior Research Fellow

    Hannes Greve

    Doctoral Researcher

    Cornelis Haasnoot

    Doctoral Researcher

    Dr. Lisa Hoffmann

    Research Fellow

    Dr. Christoph Kubitza

    Research Fellow

    Tabea Lakemann

    Doctoral Researcher / Speaker Research Team

    Prof. Dr. Jann Lay

    Lead Research Fellow / Head of RP 3

    Dr. Malte Lierl

    Research Fellow / Speaker Research Team

    Rebecca Lohmann

    Doctoral Researcher

    Lena Merkel

    Doctoral Researcher

    Johanna Pieper

    Doctoral Researcher

    Dr. Jan Priebe

    Research Fellow / Speaker Research Team

    Jorge A. Rincón Barajas

    Doctoral Researcher / Representative of Doctoral Researchers

    Luca Rochowski

    Research Fellow

    Dr. Anette Ruml

    Research Fellow

    Dr. Margot Schüller

    Senior Research Fellow

    Tevin Tafese

    Doctoral Researcher

    Dr. Iris Wieczorek

    Senior Research Fellow / GIGA Representative in Japan

    Prof. Dr. Eckart Woertz

    Director of the GIGA Institute for Middle East Studies


    Research Teams

    We focus on three research areas that address different aspects of inclusive and sustainable development in the Global South. The Trade, Investment and Sustainable Transformation Research Team studies the ambiguous impacts of global forces, such as digitalisation, global value chains, international investments, as well as the representation of the Global South in international trade and investment negotiations. The Institutions, Governance and Political Economy Research Team investigates the quality and performance of institutions and governance processes and their capacity to contribute to inclusive and sustainable development. The Education, Health and Employment Research Team analyses mechanisms to overcome poverty, exclusion and inequality. It focuses on labor markets, the inequalities in access to (quality) health care and education as well as the role of social protection.

    Research Team 1: Trade, Investment and Sustainable Transformation

    This research team is concerned with globalisation – understood as a process of increased economic integration through international trade, investment, and human mobility, – as well as its socio-economic and environmental repercussions. Our research looks at key global questions, such as threats posed to the multilateral world trade order by geo-economic competition and weaponised interdependence. We are also interested in the way globalisation interacts with and shapes other megatrends. This includes climate change where our focus lies on how low and middle-income countries can “decarbonise” economic development. Another example is the role of digitalisation and the service sector for structural change in developing countries.

    Our research projects often examine and compare the local impacts of these trends, globalisation and related polices – building on original data from the GIGA regions. For example, we are part of the Land Matrix Initiative, which collects data on foreign large-scale land investment in various countries and the related research focuses on the impacts of these “land grabs” on rural livelihoods. In our analyses of policies, for example of climate policies, sustainability and labour standards, and investment promotion policies, we assess how economic, social and environmental ends can be reconciled.

    Research Team 2: Institutions, Governance and Political Economy

    Effective governance is a prerequisite for inclusive and sustainable development. The Institutions, Governance and Political Economy team focuses on the quality and performance of institutions and governance processes in developing countries. We study governance failures, such as corruption and elite capture, problems of collective action and public goods provision, and social conflict. In these contexts, we examine how governance outcomes can be improved through institutional design or policy interventions. For example, some of our research focuses on decentralisation and local governance performance. We have developed tools to monitor institutional capacity and local government performance at large scale and we conduct field experiments to test ways of improving local government performance and strengthening formal and informal accountability towards citizens. We also examine informal social norms shape the behaviour of elites and citizens and the functioning of formal institutions. For example, through field-based behavioural research, we investigate how religious ideas influence social behaviour and what mechanisms can help to reduce discrimination of outgroups due to their religious beliefs, ethnic origin or gender .

    Research Team 3: Education, Health, and Employment

    This research team explores education, health, and labor market topics. Our work thus looks at the causes and consequences of poverty and the dramatic wealth, income and social inequality that characterises many countries of the Global South. We also analyse discrimination related to race, ethnicity, gender, and religion. Our research covers a wide range of crucial social issues related to the design, scope, and implementation challenges of social protection programs, the creation of decent work and sustainable and gainful employment at fair wages, the access to affordable and essential health care services, the global and regional fertility transition, and the achievement of quality schooling and learning.

    The team is frequently involved in rigorous impact evaluations of specific policies and development interventions, for example in schools and for firms and farms in poor contexts. In these evaluations, which typically require large-scale data collections, we can build on long-standing collaborations with local partners and relevant policy communities. In comparative analyses, we collect the experiences from different contexts to produce policy-relevant insights that we share, inter alia, through well-established networks and collaborations with international organisations.


    Speaker Team 1

    Tabea Lakemann

    Doctoral Researcher / Speaker Research Team

    Speaker Team 2

    Dr. Malte Lierl

    Research Fellow / Speaker Research Team

    Speaker Team 3

    Dr. Jan Priebe

    Research Fellow / Speaker Research Team


    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

    Notification

    Sign up to receive email notifications about GIGA activities

    Social Media

    Follow us