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Research Perspectives

In the course of the discussion about decolonialism and anti-racism in Germany, which were initiated in academia in part as a result of the growing Black Lives Matter movement, staff members and the ABI's leadership entered into an intensive dialogue in 2020. In order to make underrepresented perspectives as well as disadvantages based on structural inequalities central to the work of all ABI staff, the Institute examined its own practices in a variety of ways.

With variations in details and emphasis, the ABI found a broad consensus on a number of issues. The discrimination against BIPoC and racialized people is unacceptable for our own work, which is based on the principle of equal treatment. In addition, social hierarchies such as gender are structural problems we reject and address within the institute. Most importantly for us, this means that building on reciprocal, jointly designed research on Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, the discrimination of scholars from the Global South must be addressed. The goal here is to reduce global knowledge asymmetries. We thus actively reflect upon our methodological practices and engage in collaborative and reciprocal formats of cooperating with our partner colleagues and institutions.

Moreover, we find that embracing a decolonial stance means developing explanatory and interpretive approaches beyond established theories and dominant paradigms. Our aim is to recognize and, ideally, revise supposedly universalistic, but essentially Eurocentric ways of thinking, and to enhance the plurality and visibility of voices engaging in knowledge production. Central for our work is a continuous critical reflection of our own approaches, trajectories, and positionalities.


Projects and cooperations

The Arnold Bergstraesser Institute (ABI) regularly acquires third-party funding for scientific research projects as well as for applied projects. In addition to established funding institutions such as the DFG, DSF or Fritz Thyssen Foundation, the ABI also works on a project-related basis with ministries, political foundations, the DAAD or actors in development cooperation. Many projects are carried out in close cooperation with partners in Germany and abroad.

List of our projects and cooperations


Recent Publications

Whenever possible, the Arnold Bergstraesser Institute (ABI) publishes its most important research findings in leading peer-reviewed journals and prestigious series. The Institute's own Working Paper Series (with in-house peer review and language editing) underscores this mission. The ABI publishes the International Quarterly for Asian Studies, a leading, peer-reviewed academic journal for Asian research.

List of latest publications


ALMA Reviews Blog

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. It is determined to both challenge the hierarchies of academia in the Global North, and create more equal partnerships with our colleagues in the Global South. Read more.


Reading Lists

From our library, we compile academic literature on different political contexts of current debates and events.