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About the GIGA

GIGA – The German Institute of Global and Area Studies based in Hamburg, Germany, is a research institute and think tank that analyses political, economic and social developments in Africa, Asia, Latin America, North Africa, and the Middle East. It is the largest German research institute for area and comparative area studies and among the largest in Europe.

Two Research Programmes are involved in NOPOOR:

  • Research Programme 1: “Legitimacy and Efficiency of Political Systems”, which comprises 3 research teams:
    1. Persistence and Change in Nondemocratic Regimes,
    2. Law and Politics,
    3. Participation and Representation in the Context of inequality;
  • Research Programme 3: “Socio-Economic Challenges in the Context of Globalisation”, which comprises 3 research teams:
    1. Poverty and Vulnerability,
    2. International Migration – Social and Economic Interaction,
    3. Innovation and Growth.

GIGA key staff members 

Gero ErdmannGero Erdmann, Head of Research Programme 1 and Head of GIGA Berlin Office, is a political scientist, he was educated at the University of Freiburg and the School of Oriental and African Studies (London); his major research topics are various forms of political domination, development of political institutions (neopatrimonialism, political parties etc.) and democratization; he conducted research in several African countries and also advised various developmental organisations as well as German ministries. 

Jann Lay (Prof.), Head of Research Programme 3 and Assistant Professor at the University of Goettingen, is an economist whose research focuses on the drivers of poverty and income distribution changes in developing countries. He has worked as a consultant for The World Bank and various development agencies.


GIGA has a vast experience in analysing institutional development of all types of political regimes and in problems related to increasing income inequality; GIGA regularly advices the ministry of foreign affairs, ministry for development cooperation, parliament and civil society organisations (workshops, briefing and policy papers, country analyses, crisis indicators etc.)

Relevant references:

Basedau, M., Lay, J. (2009). Resource curse or rentier peace? The ambiguous effects of oil wealth and oil dependence on violent conflict. Journal of Peace Research, 46 (6), pp. 757-776.

Erdmann, G., Political party assistance and political party research: towards a closer en-counter?, in: Democratization, 17,6, 2010: 1275-1296

Erdmann, G. & M. Basedau: Party systems in Africa: Problems of categorising and explaining party systems, in: Journal of Contemporary African Studies, 26, 3, 2008, 241-258

Erdmann, G. & U. Engel: Neopatrimonialism Reconsidered: Critical Review and Elaboration of an Elusive Concept, in: Journal of Commonwealth and Comparative Studies, 45, 1, 2007, 95-119

Lay, J., Thiele, R., Wiebelt, M. (2008). Shocks, Policy Reforms, and Pro-Poor Growth in Bolivia: A Simulation Analysis. Review of Development Economics, 12 (1), pp. 37-56.