Prof. Dr. Matthias Basedau

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

Prof. Dr. Matthias Basedau

  • Short CV

    • Since 10/2018: Director of the GIGA Institute of African Affairs

    • 10/2016 - 12/2016: Visiting Fellow at Oxford Changing Character of War Programme

    • Since 05/2014: External Associate at Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)

    • 03/2014 - 05/2014: Visiting Professor at Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)

    • Since 12/2013: Professor at the University of Hamburg (§ 17 Professur)

    • 6/2005 - 04/2015: Head of GIGA Research Programme 2 "Violence and Security"

    • Since 2002: Research fellow with GIGA Institute of African Affairs; areas of expertise: Southern Africa, West and Central Africa; elections, political parties, democracy, civil-military relations, violent conflict, resource wars

    • Education: Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology at Heidelberg University; PhD 2001

    Current Research

    • Resources conflicts

    • Religion and violent conflict

    • Civil–military relations

    • Political institutions

    Countries and Regions

    • Sub-Saharan Africa

    • Mali

    • Niger

    • Chad

    • Botswana

    Research Programmes


    • International Studies Association, Membership in discipline-specific association or network, 2013 - 2025
    • Bertelsmann Transformation Index, Bertelsmann Stiftung, BTI Regional Coordinator West and Central Africa, since 2004
    • Association for African Studies in Germany, Membership in region-specific association or network, since 2003

    Prof. Dr. Matthias Basedau

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

    T. +49 (0)40 - 428

    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.

    Journal of Conflict Resolution | 06/2022

    Rebels with a Cause: Does Ideoloy make Armed Conflicts Longer and bloodier?

    Ideology may directly provide motive and indirectly capacity for collective violence, thus making armed conflicts longer and bloodier. The authors investigate these propositions by drawing on an innovative global dataset which codes ideological claims by rebel groups and governments in intrastate armed conflicts since 1946.

    Ass. Prof. Dr. Ariel Zellman

    GIGA Working Papers | 09/2021

    One Year After: Has the COVID-19 Pandemic Increased Violence in Sub-Saharan Africa?

    In the spring of 2020, observers and practitioners warned that COVID-19 would increase violence in sub-Saharan Africa through an economic shock that would lead to distributional conflict and state repression – and violence did indeed increase in 2020. An analysis by Prof. Dr. Matthias Basedau and Mora Deitch.

    Research Project | 01/03/2021 - 30/09/2022

    Corona Conflicts? Analysing Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Violent Conflict in Africa

    At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, decision-makers warned that the pandemic might lead to more violent conflict in fragile states, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. This project engages in a mixed-methods approach to study related relationships.
    Volkswagen Foundation, 2021-2022

    Research Project | 01/11/2020 - 31/10/2023

    Religion for Peace: Identifying Conditions and Mechanisms of Interfaith Peace

    In recent years, religion has become an increasingly contentious phenomenon, with religious violence and discrimination on the rise worldwide. However, religion is also connected to peace: interfaith peace is, in fact, the norm rather than the exception. We contribute to the rigorous empirical study of the link between religion and peace, especially regarding positive peace. Using several cutting-edge methodologies, we expect substantial results that are also very useful for policy.
    DFG, 2020-2023

    Research Project | 01/10/2020 - 30/09/2023

    Freedom and Development? Religious Actors, Freedom of Belief and Religion, and Sustainable Development

    About 80% of the world's population professes a religion. In many countries, religious actors play a major role in development, e.g. education and the satisfaction of basic needs. At the same time, freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) seems to be increasingly restricted and "religious" conflicts seem to be on the rise. We contribute to the international discussion how religion, and in particular FoRB, affects the Sustainable Development Goals. The project will provide policy recommendations with regard to potential religious partners in development cooperation.
    BMZ, 2020-2023

    Research Project | 01/06/2020 - 28/02/2021

    Population Growth and Security in Africa

    As recent projections estimate, population growth will remain a challenge throughout Africa, although growth rates have slowed over recent decades. Africa’s population will continue to grow strongly over the next few decades, especially in sub-regions such as the Sahel. Many observers and practitioners have started to warn that population growth may escalate distributional conflicts and could increase related challenges such as uncontrolled migration.
    FFO, 2020-2021

    Badische Zeitung | Interview | 14/01/2022

    Afrika-Experte: "Mali geht kein unbegründetes Risiko ein"

    Frankfurter Rundschau (auch: Rheinpfalz und Stuttgarter Nachrichten) | Interview | 09/01/2022

    „Völliger Rückzug wäre jetzt falsch“

    Speaker, Speaker, Speaker, Speaker, Speaker, Moderator | 17/05/2022

    The War in Ukraine and the Global South: Perceptions, Reactions, and Implications

    While most United Nations members quickly condemned Russia’s attack on Ukraine, a few actors in the Global South adopted a “neutral” stance. This GIGA Forum discusses how countries in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and sub-Saharan Africa perceive the war, are reacting to it, and what its consequences are for these states.

    Speaker, Speaker | 30/04/2022

    The Case for Multi-Methods Research in Comparative Area Studies

    GIGA Event Online event: 29/04/2022 - 30/04/2022 Organisers: German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA)

    Teaching | Department for Political Science, Universität Hamburg | 2021

    COVID-19 and Violent Conflict in the Global South

    GIGA expert Prof. Dr. Matthias Basedau gave the course "COVID-19 and Violent Conflict in the Global South" as a Seminar Institute of Political Science at the Department for Political Science, Universität Hamburg in 2021.

    Teaching | Universität Hamburg | 2021

    Resource Conflicts

    Universität Hamburg Hamburg Germany

    Reading course on key texts in the study of resources and conflict

    Teaching | GIGA Institute for African Affairs | Peace and Security | GIGA Doctoral Programme | 2021

    The Multidimensionality of Concepts

    Workshop on multidimensionality of concepts with examples from GIGA research projects (religion and resources)


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