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Coronavirus and the Global South

Large parts of Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East are being very seriously affected by the disease, and the states of the Global South are showing a wide variation in their reactions. Learn more how the GIGA contributes to addressing the worldwide repercussions of the pandemic.

We are facing a worldwide pandemic of unprecedented magnitude and virulence. We have seen governments within Europe react very differently to the crisis. The implemented measures and their timeframes vary considerably, as do their effects on health systems, infection rates, death tolls, and medical advances regarding a cure. These effects are commonly weighed against the economic fallout of the crisis and their impact on citizens’ rights and liberties, which often determine the corresponding strategies in dealing with the crisis.

Large parts of Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East are being very seriously affected by the disease, and the states of the global south are also showing a wide variation in their reactions. With its expertise on global developments and multilateralism as well as its deep knowledge of the regions of the global south, the GIGA is uniquely positioned to analyse the pandemic’s repercussions and to contribute to policy solutions to the resulting problems.

The coronavirus pandemic raises a multitude of social, political, and economic questions that form a part of the GIGA’s research mandate. In which ways will the pandemic impact upon the functioning of democracy versus authoritarianism? How will it influence growth and development prospects? What will be its repercussions for human rights and human security, for inequality within and across societies? The pandemic may necessitate a fundamental rethink on globalisation. Certain aspects of globalisation, such as the movement of people, may face unprecedented controls; other aspects, such as digitalisation, may flourish as never before. State and non-state actors may already be learning some tough lessons on the weaponisation of interdependence, which will likely affect future production patterns, trade flows, and security alliances. Multilateralism, already under challenge in recent years, may face its most serious challenge. This crisis may trigger the long-needed reform of multilateral institutions as it demands meaningful multilateral action.

As a Leibniz institute dedicated to policy-relevant research, the GIGA is fully committed to studying the new swathe of problems that the pandemic has generated. We will be contributing to academic debate on this urgent issue, deepening our conversations with practitioners, and sharing our research findings with the media and the interested public. In this spotlight we are providing an overview of the institute’s academic analyses, policy publications, and media contributions on the coronavirus and the global south.

News and Highlights


  • International Trade

  • International Negotiation

  • Multilateralism

  • World Trade Organisation

  • Geoeconomics

  • Economic Statecraft

  • International Negotiation

  • Indian Foreign Policy

  • Rising Powers

  • BRICS, especially India

  • India

  • Brazil

  • China

Picture of Patrick Köllner

Prof. Dr. Patrick Köllner

Director of the GIGA Institute for Asian Studies / Vice President
T. +49 (0)40 - 42 88 74-17
  • Political parties and think tanks

  • Foreign policy

  • Australia and New Zealand

  • Japan

  • Korean peninsula

Picture of Matthias Basedau

Prof. Dr. Matthias Basedau

Director of the GIGA Institute for African Affairs / Editor GIGA Focus Africa
T. +49 (0)40 - 428 25-517
  • Resources conflicts

  • Religion and violent conflict

  • Civil–military relations

  • Political institutions

  • Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Mali

  • Niger

  • Chad

  • Botswana

Picture of Merike Blofield

Prof. Dr. Merike Blofield

Director of the GIGA Institute for Latin American Studies
T. +49 (0)40 - 428 25-560
  • Gender and Policy

  • Latin American Politics

  • Comparative Politics

  • Families and socio-economic inequalities

  • Politics and policy

  • Latin America

Picture of Eckart Woertz

Prof. Dr. Eckart Woertz

Director of the GIGA Institute for Middle East Studies
T. +49 (0)40 - 428 25-504
  • Contemporary history of Iraq (1979-2003)

  • Geo-economics of the Middle East

  • Energy and food security

  • Euro-Mediterranean Cooperation

  • Gulf region

  • Iraq

  • Egypt

  • Syria

  • Political institutions in Latin America

  • Presidentialism

  • Latin American congresses

  • Latin American courts

  • President-Congress relations; president-court relations

  • Latin America

  • Argentina

  • International sanctions and interventions

  • Authoritarian regimes

  • Foreign policy and development policy

  • Informal institutions / corruption and their effects on political regimes

  • Statehood

  • Southern Africa and East Africa

  • South Africa

  • Botswana

  • Zambia

  • Zimbabwe

  • Kenya

Picture of Bert Hoffmann

Prof. Dr. Bert Hoffmann

Lead Research Fellow / Head GIGA Berlin Office Editor GIGA Focus Latin America
  • Transnational Migration Politics and Diaspora Policies

  • Executive Board member of the research network desiguALdades.net

  • Cuba's Transformation: Crisis, Continuity and Change in Socialist Cuba

  • Latin America

  • Cuba

  • Regional Explanations for Authoritarianism

  • Statethood and Political Domination in the Middle East (with a focus on Jordan and Syria)

  • The War in Syria

  • Regional Politics and the Relationship between Arabism and Islamism

  • Jordan

  • Syria

  • Palestine/Israel

  • Turkey (Near East Politics)

  • Human Mobility in the context of political and/or environmental crises

  • North-South divide and its role for human mobility

  • Resource scarcity and its role in violent conflict, esp. water conflicts

  • Post/decolonial and poststructuralist approaches in peace and conflict studies

  • Syria

  • Israel/Palestine

  • Jordan

  • Turkey

  • International and Regional Organisations

  • African Union in Global Politics

  • Sociological Institutionalism

  • Postcolonial Theory

  • Africa

  • (Im)mobility in the context of conflict and war

  • Drivers of (forced) migration

  • Migration governance

  • Diaspora politics and transnational political participation

  • North Africa

  • Middle East

  • Europe