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.


18. September 2020

ABI researchers have various research and regional focuses & look with this knowledge at what happened during the corona pandemic.

9. September 2020

Das „Maria Sibylla Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa“ startet nun in die Hauptphase mit dem thematischen Schwerpunkt "Sustainable Governance".

27. July 2020

Benjamin Schütze reviews literature on the idea of "democracy promotion", with a special focus on the Middle East and North Africa.

14. July 2020

Rose Jaji's book wonderfully deconstructs common migration assumptions, writes Franzisca Zanker in our new ALMA Reviews blog.

Events / Dates

The virtual conference involved experts from America, Europe and Australia. They discussed what role the sociology of law can play in finding answers to questions raised by the corona pandemic.

31. August 2021


is the title of the recently published french speaking policy brief as part of the research project "The Political Economy of West African Migration Governance".


Alke Jenss trug zum Sammelband "Gewalt in Lateinamerika analysieren und bearbeiten" ein Kapitel zu selektiver Gewalt, illegaler Ökonomie und staatlichem Handeln in Mexiko bei.


Lewis Turner summarises the findings of a research project on humanitarian work with Syrian refugee men, focused on Za‘tari Refugee Camp in Jordan at the platform "Civil Society knowledge Centre".


Projects and cooperations

The Arnold-Bergstraesser-Institut offers an annual summerschool “Contested Governance” from 2019 to 2021. DAAD In-Country/In-Region scholarship holders (Master or PhD students) in countries of the Global South are invited to Germany for four weeks. The summerschool targets political science or other social sciences students and focuses on the multiple challenges in the field of governance.


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.

The project endeavours to highlight the political dimension of migration governance (i.e. what are the real [sometimes hidden] interests and power asymmetries) and the multiple stakeholders (including civil society and sub-national ones). The qualitative study focuses on four case studies - the Gambia, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal – and is based on fieldwork including semi-structured interviews in the respective countries.

February - December 2019