Security doctrines in a changing world

Exploring Asian and Western policy strategies towards Africa

The Mahatma Gandhi wing of the University of Nairobi. The Mahatma Gandhi wing of the University of Nairobi. Image: Karoline Eickhoff

The project aims to foster global South-North exchange and to better reflect global South perspectives in International Relations theory, by providing insights into modes of South-South cooperation.

Timeframe: 2020 - 2021

The research project “Security Doctrines in a Changing World: Exploring Asian and Western Policy Strategies towards Africa (2020-2021)” engages with historical roots, principles and contemporary practices of South-South Cooperation in an increasingly multipolar world, in the context of wider debates on Global International Relations (IR).

While focusing on Indian foreign policy strategies vis-à-vis East Africa, the project accounts for various modes of South-South cooperation that contrast with models of international aid, development and peacebuilding promoted in the global North. More specifically, the project combines an analysis of policy-making processes with insights into the field-level practices of South-South partnerships in East Africa.

By providing novel empirical and conceptual insights, the projects aims to contribute to better reflecting perspectives from the global South in IR theory. The following research questions guide the research:

  • What are characteristics, principles and current trends of South-South Cooperation in East Africa? How do they relate to models of development and security cooperation from the global North?
  • How can processes of policy-making and implementation in the global North be enriched with concepts, approaches and ideas applied in the context of South-South-Cooperation?

Ultimately, the research project aims to foster mutual exchange between knowledge communities from across the global South and North by providing knowledge exchange formats at the interface of academia and policy, thus contributing to institutional learning and advancements in foreign and security policy formation and implementation.

Partners and funding

The research project is funded by the Gerda Henkel Foundation. It is implemented in coordination between the Center for Transnational Relations, Foreign and Security Policy (contact: Prof. Dr. Tobias Berger) at the Otto-Suhr-Institute for Political Science, Freie Universität Berlin and the Conflict Transformation Research department (contact: Dr. Karoline Eickhoff) at the Berghof Foundation.


  1. Berger, Tobias & Eickhoff, Karoline (2022), "Power, status and memory in Indo-East African relations".



Project lead

Karoline Eickhoff


Media contact

Florian Lüdtke
Media and Communications Manager
+49 (0) 177 7052758
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