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10.11.2009 11:25

New Director at the GIGA Institute of Middle East Studies

Peter Peetz Presse- und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit
GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies

    Henner Fürtig Appointed Director of IMES - Political Islam to Become a New Institute Focus

    The GIGA Institute of Middle East Studies (IMES) has a new director: effective immediately, Prof. Dr. Henner Fürtig will take over the leadership of the renowned research institution. Fürtig, who was jointly appointed by the University of Hamburg and the GIGA, will also take over the Chair of Middle East Studies in the History Department at the university.

    The GIGA Institute of Middle East Studies undertakes research on, among other things, economic transformation in the oil- and natural gas-rich region, the development of authoritarian regimes, and the Israel-Palestine conflict. IMES academics advise the German Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, as well as other institutions.

    Political Islam: Research Gap to Be Filled

    Fürtig, who has worked at the GIGA since 2007, wants to drive the IMES's ongoing and successful development. "A new focus of our work will be the study of political Islam," the 56-year-old historian said." Although Islamism has long been a mass phenomenon, academic knowledge about it remains limited. "Fürtig says that religious studies alone cannot deliver all the answers, as Islamism is a political movement and ideology which merely uses religious details as its arguments. For that reason, a social science approach is also necessary." Using our multidisciplinary approach, we want to make a significant contribution to filling this research gap. "Of two positions at the institute currently being advertised, one is to be filled with an expert on Islamism. Additional positions are also to be created with the help of third-party funding.

    Federal Foreign Office Welcomes Appointment

    Helmut Kulitz, research coordinator in the Planning Department of the Federal Foreign Office, welcomed Henner Fürtig's appointment, saying it would allow IMES to successfully and competently fulfil its role: the delivery of sound, current research on Europe's neighbour region. "The appointment of Professor Fürtig has put a distinguished expert on the region at the head of IMES," he said. "That's not just a win for the GIGA and Middle East research in Germany, but rather for everyone who's involved in a political way with the region." The leadership post at the institute was advertised internationally, but the winning candidate ultimately came from within the GIGA's own ranks. GIGA president Robert Kappel is pleased about this. "Henner Fürtig is an outstanding representative of Middle East scholarship," he said. "He's also skilled at languages and well connected internationally." For these reasons, says Kappel, academics from the Middle East will be keen to cooperate with the GIGA. "That is immensely important. Without networks it's impossible to access relevant information."

    The University of Hamburg: Developing a Middle East Studies Programme

    Henner Fürtig is to take over the Chair of Middle East Studies in the History Department at the University of Hamburg, where he has taught for the last six years. In the coming years he will also collaborate in the development of a separate Middle East Studies programme.

    Prof. Dr. Henner Fürtig
    Tel: 0049 - (0)40 - 42825-523

    The GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies is the largest German research institute for area and comparative area studies and is also among the largest in Europe. Its research focuses on political, economic and social developments in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Interregional linkages and global themes are incorporated within this research.

    Weitere Informationen: - Personal website of Henner Fürtig - Website of the GIGA Institute of Middle East Studies (IMES) - Website of the GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies

    Merkmale dieser Pressemitteilung:
    Geschichte / Archäologie, Gesellschaft, Politik, Religion, Wirtschaft
    Organisatorisches, Personalia


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