Prof. Dr. Amrita Narlikar


  • Prof. Dr. Amrita Narlikar is the President of the German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA) and Professor of International Relations at Hamburg University. She also is Honorary Fellow of Darwin College (University of Cambridge), non-resident Senior Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) in an honorary capacity, and Distinguished International Fellow of the Indian Association of International Studies (IAIS).

    Prior to moving to Hamburg, she held the position of Reader in International Political Economy at the University of Cambridge and a Fellowship at Darwin College. She was also Senior Research Associate at the Centre for International Studies at the University of Oxford from 2003 to 2014. Amrita was awarded her MPhil and DPhil from Oxford University (Balliol), and was then appointed to a Junior Research Fellowship at St John’s, Oxford. She also has intellectual roots at the School of International Studies, JNU, and St. Stephen’s College. Amrita has authored/edited eleven books. Her most recent book has been published by Cambridge University Press (Poverty Narratives in International Trade Negotiations and Beyond, New York: CUP, 2020). Her previous books include: Bargaining with a Rising India: Lessons from the Mahabharata (co-authored) Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014; The Oxford Handbook on the World Trade Organization (co-edited) Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012; Deadlocks in Multilateral Negotiations: Causes and Solutions (edited), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010. The policy relevance of her research brings Amrita into frequent and close exchange with practitioners. She has authored several policy briefs — e.g. for Munich Security Times, Heinrich Böll Stiftung, CIGI, Commonwealth Secretariat etc., and has had her expertise cited in a range of media outlets — e.g. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Der Tagesspiegel, Die Welt, Spiegel Online, Deutsche Welle, NDR, BBC, etc.

    Click here for a detailed list of publications:

    Short CV

    Present Appointment

    President of the German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA), Hamburg Professor of International Relations (W3) at the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, Hamburg Universität Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) in an honorary capacity Honorary Fellow of Darwin College, University of Cambridge

    Previous Appointments

    University of Cambridge (2004 - 2015)

    • Permanent positions as University Lecturer, University Senior Lecturer, Reader in International Political Economy

    • Founding Director of the Centre for Rising Powers

    • Official Fellow, Darwin College

    University of Exeter (2003 - 2004)

    • Lecturer (permanent position), position held simultaneously with the New Career Development Fellowship, Nuffield Foundation (2003-3006; fellowship was transferred to Cambridge on appointment there)

    University of Oxford (1999 - 2014)

    • Junior Research Fellow (1999 - 2003)

    • Senior Research Associate, Centre for International Studies (honorary position, 2003 - 2014)


    • Ph.D., Darwin College, University of Cambridge (by incorporation)

    • D. Phil., International Relations, Balliol College, University of Oxford

    • M. Phil., International Relations, Balliol College, University of Oxford

    • M.A., International Relations, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India

    • B.A., History (Hons.) St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University, India

    • Data Analysis, Essex Summer School in Social Science Data Analysis and Collection

    Grants and Fellowships

    • As of 2021: Principal Investigator, Weltordnungsnarrative des Globalen Südens (with Prof Eckart Woertz, Prof Ulrich Mücke and Prof Jürgen Zimmerer) (final confirmation awaited)

    • Since 2020: Principal Investigator, The Challenge to the Challenge: Responses to BRI, SCRIPTS, German Research Foundation (with Prof Mark Hallerberg)

    • Since 2018: Co-Investigator, Legitimate Multipolarity, German Research Foundation (with Dr Johannes Plagemann and Prof Heike Holbig)

    • Since 2018: Principal Investigator, SCRIPTS Excellence Cluster, FU Berlin

    • 2013: Leverhulme Research Fellowship for project entitled The Power of the Poor

    • 2012: Volkswagen Foundation Consortium Grant for project on Energy and Rising Powers. In collaboration with the University of Darmstadt

    • 2011: Conference Grant by the Centre for Research in the Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Cambridge, to organize an interdisciplinary conference with the Centre for Rising Powers in February 2012 on Rising Powers in the International System. Additional sponsorship secured from Cambridge University Press

    • 2010: Visiting International Professorial Chair, Université Libre de Bruxelles, November

    • 2008: First Mellon/CRASSH Teaching Fellowship for Innovation in Teaching (with Professor Martin Daunton)

    • 2007: Conference Grant by the Centre for Research in the Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Cambridge, to hold an inter-disciplinary conference in November 2007 on Breaking Deadlocks

    • 2003 - 2006: Nuffield Career Development Fellowship (with Dr Andrew Hurrell as Col) (to cover three year buy-out for PI, research assistance for CoI, and funding to cover research, travel, and equipment costs of both PI and CoI)

    • 2002: Leitner Visiting Fellowship, Yale Center for International and Area Studies, Yale University, March - April

    • 2001: First Hodson Memorial Essay Prize, The Round Table: Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs

    Scholarships and Prizes

    University of Oxford (M.Phil. and D.Phil.):

    • Full scholarship (fees and maintenance) by the Inlaks Foundation, London Overseas Research Students (ORS) Award, UK

    • Travel grants from Balliol College

    • Research grants from the Cyril Foster and Alastair Buchan Fund, Department of Politics and International Relations, Oxford

    School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University (M.A.):

    • First position in M.A. with distinction and highest marks in school record and first position in 15 out of 16 papers

    • Prize for outstanding performance in MA from Jawaharlal Nehru Trust

    St. Stephen’s College Prizes (B.A. Hons, History):

    • Savitri Prasad History Prize for the highest standard in tutorials

    • Prize for Seminar Paper on ‘Climatic Changes from Pleistocene to Mid-Holocene Times in Peninsular India’

    • I.H. Qureshi Memorial Prize for History for Regularity, Quality of Work and Peformance

    • Shri Ram Poplai Essay Prize

    Senior School:

    • All India Merit Scholarship for performance in All India Senior Secondary School

    • Leaving Exam, with prizes in all exam subjects from the Convent of Jesus and Mary School, New Delhi

    Current Research

    • International Trade

    • International Negotiation

    • Multilateralism

    • World Trade Organisation

    • Geoeconomics

    • Economic Statecraft

    • International Negotiation

    • Indian Foreign Policy

    • Rising Powers

    • BRICS, especially India

    Countries and Regions

    • India

    • Brazil

    • China


    • American Political Science Association
    • Academy of International Affairs NRW
    • Indian Association of International Studies
    • Finnish Institute of International Affairs
    • Global Economy and Development program at Brookings
    • International Studies Association
    • International Studies Association
    • Observer Research Foundation
    • Reflection Group of the MSC


    • Honorary Fellow of the Darwin College

    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

    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 republished in Global Policy Opinion.

    Cecilia Emma Sottilotta

    Visiting Fellow

    Policy paper | 10/2021

    Three external Risks to Democracy and how to address them

    In this policy paper, Prof. Amrita Narlikar, member of the World Economic Forum and the Global Future Council on Frontier Risks, outline three key areas of external threat that must be addressed to enable an agenda for democratic renewal.

    Chapter in edited Volume | 09/2021

    From a Legitimacy Deficit to an Existential Crisis: The Unfortunate Case of the World Trade Organization

    Prof. Amrita Narlikar argues that to attribute the malaise of trade multilateralism to President Trump's anti-trade policies is to confuse symptom with cause. She shows how a somewhat contained process-related input-legitimacy deficit has ended up getting transformed into a much more expansive output-legitimacy crisis.

    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

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

    World Order Narratives of the Global South

    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 (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

    Official Social Media Channel of the EU Delegation in India | Expert Comment / Guest Contribution | 17/05/2021

    Assessment of the outcome of the EU-India Leaders' Meeting

    EU Konkret - Europapolitischer Podcast aus Hamburg | Interview | 03/05/2021

    EU-India: Potential for political and economic cooperation

    Speaker, Organiser | 20/12/2021

    The Espresso Dialogues: Episode 1


    The Espresso Dialogues series celebrates its inauguration with GIGA President Prof. Amrita Narlikar Amrita Narlikar as speaker and Prof Amitabh Mattoo moderating the event. Hosted by IAIS India, this series introduces the viewers to the personal and the political from the lives of academics, practitioners, and observers of international events to inform and inspire.

    Consultant | 14/12/2021

    Beyond COVID-19: How to be Best Prepared for the Next Global Pandemic

    Panel discussion 14/12/2021

    Prof. Dr. Amrita Narlikar was invited to contribute to a closed-door roundtable organised by the Munich Security Conference. This high-level discussion is part of the MSC series "Beyond Westlessness: The Road to Munich".

    Organiser, Moderator, Chair | 13/12/2021

    The Long Game: How China Negotiates with India

    GIGA Event Online event: 13/12/2021 Organisers: German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA)

    The GIGA is proud to bring you the author of "The Long Game" Ambassador Vijay Gokhale in conversation with Prof. Dr. Amrita Narlikar. Video of the event available.

    Teaching | Universität Hamburg | 2020

    Multilateralism, Crisis, and Coronavirus

    Universität Hamburg Hamburg

    Master-level seminar in political science

    A key purpose of multilateralism is to facilitate the provision of global public goods. But as COVID-19 spreads death and destruction in its wake, one might well ask the question, will multilateralism be yet another victim of this global pandemic? Is multilateralism fit for purpose today, or does it need fundamental restructuring? This course introduces the theory, history, and practice of multilateralism.

    Teaching | Universität Hamburg | 2019

    The World Trade Organization: Successes, Controversies, Reform

    Universität Hamburg Hamburg

    President Donald Trump has announced that the agreement establishing the WTO as “the single worst deal ever made.” This would be a problematic accusation for a relatively young organization to encounter from any one of its members, but it is especially worrying when the criticism comes from the US – the country that had played such a key role in setting up and maintaining the post-war multilateral trading system. This course gives you an opportunity to dispassionately unpack the accusations and critique that the organization faces. In order to do this, we will together engage with the history and politics of the multilateral trading system, take into account its successes and failures, investigate the latest controversies (including the “good and easy to win” trade wars), and explore new directions for reform.


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