Research at the Arnold Bergstraesser Institute (ABI) draws on a long tradition of social science in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. The institute places a strong emphasis on comparative analyses (within/across countries and across time) and pays close attention to area-specific contexts (political, economic, societal, historical). This holds true for much of ABI’s past and ongoing research: whether its focus lies on security agencies in the peripheries of the Central African Republic, social movements against neo-extractivism in Ecuador, elite politics and public reform in Indonesia, inter-group relations in South Africa, Lebanon und Burundi, or the viability of democracy-promotion in Jordan. The institute aims at combining micro and macro perspectives; it acknowledges the entanglements between local, national and international spheres.
Consistent with this understanding of comparative area studies, the ABI aims at contributing to ongoing scholarly and policy debates in three thematic clusters: