3 sentences on the institute

The ABI is one of Germany’s major research centers in the domain of both comparative area studies and transregional studies. As an independent, non-profit research institution, the institute cooperates with the University of Freiburg. The Institute was founded in 1960 and goes back to Arnold Bergstraesser, at that time Professor of Political Science and Sociology at the University of Freiburg.


13. October 2020

The Gero Erdmann Prize is awarded for dissertations that are based on a comparative approach and the consideration of area studies.

13. October 2020

Lewis Turner argues for a new approach in EU migration and refugee policy towards a meaningful solidarity with asylum seekers and refugees.

12. October 2020

In the framework of the research project "Authoritarian Urbanism" two researchers from Brazil and Turkey are currently working at the ABI.

30. September 2020

New Blog Entry: A decolonial and historicised approach on the Zapatista Movement from Mariana Mora

Events / Dates

¿Por qué está resurgiendo una ola de violencia de tanta magnitud en el Caribe Colombiano? / Why is violence returning to the Colombian Caribbean with such force?

Miércoles 4 de noviembre de 2020, 10:00 am (Bogotá), Wednesday 4th November, 2020 4pm (Freiburg)

Este evento se llevará a cabo en español / This event will take place in Spanish.

4. November 2020

The ALMA Research Series is Freiburg’s interdisciplinary colloquium on social transformations in Asia, Latin America, Middle East and Africa. The lectures take place four times during term in digital space.

19. November 2020 - 12:30

As part of the ALMA Research Series digital in the winter semester, the sociologist Uyi Benjamin Edegbe presents his paper "Transnational Migrants Remittances and Social Development in Benin City, Nigeria", Julia Tischler (history) will discuss it.

19. November 2020 - 12:30

Linda Oucho is Executive Director at the African Migration and Development Policy Centre (AMADPOC) in Nairobi, Kenya. She is an anthropologist and researcher on migration. In her lecture she will focus on the impact of the Corona crisis on migration in Kenya.

Dr. Linda Oucho
https://uni-freiburg.zoom.us/j/83586958334; Zoom Meeting-ID: 835 8695 8334 ; Kenncode: CW6Nsme%m
25. November 2020 - 18:15


This working paper presents the experiences of four individual researchers who introspect on issues of insiderness, outsiderness and privilege in academia. Those researchers are from different regions of the world and with different positionalities, who carry out research in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa. All of them are currently based at the Arnold Bergstraesser Institute.


Out now: Africa Yearbook 2019 with two African and two ABI editors.


is the title of the recently published article by Wazi Apoh (University of Ghana) and Andreas Mehler on a new discourse on restitution and repatriation.


Projects and cooperations

This conference aims at a deeper understanding of the relationship between democracy and authoritarianism beyond the borders of the nation state. It examines both the authoritarian turn in the democratic environment and the "prevention of democracy" in states such as China. The conference design is guided by two principles: (1) dialogue between young scholars and senior researchers and (2) multidisciplinary dialogue. It is organised by scientists from the ABI and the University of Freiburg and will take place at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies from 17th to 19th march 2021.


This blog series aims to discuss, highlight, and engage with scholarship from the regions of Africa, Latin America, Middle East, and Asia (ALMA) that ABI staff and associates have particularly enjoyed reading. With this blog we aim to start new conversations, explore interesting themes and topics as well as highlight excellent scholarship. The blog language is in English, a new review is published once a month.

Authoritarian Urbanism combines several activities ranging from research, a FRIAS Junior Researcher Conference on the Convergence of Authoritarianism & Democracy to an invitation for post-doc fellows from the Global South for two six months fellowships, in cooperation with the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation.


The project “Making Infrastructures Global” addresses the issue of contemporary infrastructure projects that often look alike, produced as they are by planning agencies that operate across the world in public-private partnerships. Based on three cases of energy infrastructure projects in East Africa, North Africa and Latin America, this project analyses the contested power dynamics triggered by attempts at making infrastructure global.