The GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies lies directly on the Alster River in the heart of Hamburg. The GIGA is the biggest research institute for area studies and comparative area studies in Germany, and one of the biggest in Europe as well. Our research focuses on political, economic and social developments in Africa, Asia, Latin America, North Africa and the Middle East. GIGA researchers also concentrate on inter-regional linkages and global themes. In 2009 the GIGA opened its Berlin Office, the result of a 2006 restructuring of the German Overseas Institute, originally founded in 1964.