The Arnold Bergstraesser Institute (ABI) is a research institute specializing on the comparative study of socio-political issues in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.

Researchers at ABI focus on questions related to power, state institutions and societal conflicts. The Institute subscribes to a comparative approach, while paying close attention to relevant aspects of context (cultural, historical, economic etc.). This type of endeavor draws on “comparative area studies” as a research perspective, which entails inter- and intra-regional as well as cross-temporal comparisons. It regards empirical research as vital for the development of innovative concepts based on theoretical knowledge – originating both within mainstream and heterodox schools of thought. Research at ABI aims at generating in-depth knowledge about three thematic clusters:

  • Origins, Results and Management of Ethno-Religious Conflicts
  • State and Governance
  • The Politics of Natural Resources.  


ALMA Research Series – Freiburg’s interdisciplinary colloquium on social transformations in Asia, Latin America, Middle East and Africa.

In 2016, the Arnold Bergstraesser Institute (ABI) has launched the ALMA research series in cooperation with Freiburg University. The research series aims at interconnecting research interests from different parts of the university and affiliated institutes. ALMA places particular emphasis on interdisciplinarity: a feature that is also evident in the discussion format, which includes presenters and discussants from different disciplinary backgrounds. The overall focus lies on empirical-comparative analyses of socio-political phenomena in extra-European areas and societies. The main target group of the ALMA series includes social sciences and humanities scholars that are currently pursuing a PhD and/or pursuing advanced/postdoctoral research projects.

The events take place on Thursdays from 0.30 – 2 pm  – four to six times during term.
Programme for  summer term 2017 >>>