Dr. Markus Höhne

Dr. Markus Höhne

Research Fellow

Schillerstraße 6, Room 402
04109 Leipzig

Phone: +49 341 97-37226


Markus Virgil Hoehne is lecturer at the Institute of Social Anthropology at the University of Leipzig. His habilitation project deals with "Forensic anthropology in cultural contexts in Somaliland and Peru". In 2011 he completed his dissertation on identity and conflict in Northern Somalia at the Martin Luther Universität Halle-Wittenberg (supported by the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle/Saale). Between 2008 and 2011 he worked in a EU-funded project on "Diasporas for Peace in the Horn of Africa". From 2011 to 2013 he was leading a research project on "Transitional justice in protracted conflict" (with a focus on the Horn of Africa), funded by the German Foundation for Peaceresearch. In addition to teaching and research, he also works as expert for NGOs and in court. Since 2002 he has published numerous scientific texts. He is the author of "Between Somaliland and Puntland: Marginalization, Militarization and Conficting Political Visions" (London: RVI 2015).

Professional career

  • 05/2008 - 10/2009
    Coordinator of a research-cluster in the ERC-project "Diasporas for Peace in the Horn of Africa" (including 6 months of fieldwork in Somaliland)
  • since 01/2010
    Independent expert for courts in asylum cases (related to Somalia) and consultant for NGOs and international organisations in peace-building-projects in Somalia.
  • 10/2011 - 09/2013
    Leading the project “Transitional justice in protracted conflict", focussing on the Horn of Africa, founded by the German Foundation for Peace-Research (including 3 months of fieldwork in Kenya and Somaliland)
  • since 10/2013
    Lecturer at the Institute for Anthropology at the University of Leipzig (including teaching, administrative tasks and research in Somaliland, Peru, USA and Germany)
  • since 02/2017
    Tourguide for a small groups in Somaliland (including planning the trip, logistics and security)


  • 10/1995 - 02/2002
    Master-studies at Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich (major: social anthropology; minors: medieval history and international law)
  • 03/2003 - 08/2006
    PhD-student at Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology (including 15 months of fieldwork in northern Somalia)
  • 02/2007 - 01/2008
    "Writing-up"-stipend of the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg
  • 07/2011

Markus Virgil Hoehne's research interests relate to conflict, conflict settlement, identity, state formation, war, violence, trauma, transitional justice, forensic anthropology, diaspora and transnationalism, borders, research methods and ethics of research. Regionally, his work focuses on the Horn of Africa (especially Somalia), Peru and Germany. In his dissertation, he researched on identity and conflict in northern Somalia. Based on a multi-local long-term research, he established how individuals and groups position themselves in situations of escalating violence and what consequences this has for state-formation processes in the region.

His current research project examines forensic anthropological work in different cultural contexts. As part of a multisited ethnography, he follows a team of forensic anthropologists from Peru who exhume mass graves both in the Andean highlands and in Somaliland and analyze human remains. The aim of the research is to understand how people in different places react to these interventions in highly sensitive cultural areas (death, burial, ideas about the afterlife) and which political-economic considerations underlie the work of the forensic scientists at national and international level. Markus Virgil Hoehne is also involved in a long-term student research project on the situation of Somalis in Germany.

  • Baseline study on the situation and experiences of Somali migrants in Germany
    Höhne, Markus
    Duration: 05/2017 - 03/2020
    Funded by: Fördergesellschaften
    Involved organisational units of Leipzig University: Ethnologie
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  • Forensic anthropology in cultural context: Mass-grave exhumations and memory work in the aftermath of violence in Peru and Somaliland
    Höhne, Markus
    Duration: 01/2015 - ongoing
    Funded by: Stiftungen Inland; Andere ausländische öffentliche Forschungsförderer
    Involved organisational units of Leipzig University: Ethnologie
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more projects

  • Zenker, O.; Höhne, M. (Eds.)
    The State and the Paradox of Customary Law in Africa
    London: Routledge. 2018
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  • Höhne, M.; Bedoya Sánchez, S.
    ‘Forensic Fetishism’ and human rights after violent conflict: uncovering Somaliland’s troubled past
    In: Seidel, K.; Elliesie, H. (Eds.)
    Normative spaces and legal dynamics in Africa. London and New York: Routledge. 2020. pp. 19-40
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  • Höhne, M.; Gabbert, E. C.; Eidson, J. (Eds.)
    Dynamics of indentification and conflict: Anthropological encounters
    New York: Berghahn. 2022
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  • Höhne, M.; Gaas, M. H.
    Political Islam in Somalia: From underground movements to the rise and continued resilience of Al Shabaab
    In: Bach, J.-N. (Ed.)
    Routledge Handbook of the Horn of Africa. 2022. pp. 411-427
    show details
  • Höhne, M.; Scharrer, T.
    Balancing inclusion and exclusion among Somali migrants in Germany
    International Migration. 2021. pp. 1-15
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more publications

Markus Virgil Hoehne gained experiences at various universities and tested different teaching formats as part of his teaching activities in Germany, Switzerland and Somalia; this included seminars, lectures and teaching research programs, as well as colloquia, workshops and summer schools. In Leipzig he is extensively involved in teaching and student councelling at BA and MA level. He teaches in German and English. He has experience with small and medium-sized student groups, with course organization in the form of weekly meetings or block seminars, as well as with online-lessons. He teaches mainly methods of fieldresearch, political and economic anthropology as well as thematic seminars on "Current Debates" (e.g. anthropology of morals, anthropology of death, expertise), migration, transnationalism, transitional justice, war and conflict as well as the Horn of Africa. Markus Virgil Höhne strives to establish synergies between teaching and research. In teaching he takes up topics related to his research in order to involve students in the process of knowledge production and to motivate them to do their own research. He is also involved in the conduct of guided student-research projects and excursions and takes care of Erasmus-exchanges.

  • Methods in anthropology (MA-seminar)

    The seminar introduces students to current debates on anthropological methods. Key topics are the decolonization of field research/ anthropology, research ethics, reflective anthropology and its methodological implications, dialogical field research, studying-up, multisited and stationary ethnography, gender-specific questions and specific methods (interview techniques, genealogical method, case-study method, etc .).

  • Economy and Politics (BA-lecture and seminar)

    This module discusses questions about power, rule, authority, but also the exchange and consumption of things. It's about how people organize their communities and ensure their livelihood. Various theoretical approaches that explain political and economic action are presented. The topics range from acephalous societies to military interventions, from hunting and gathering to neoliberalism.

  • Horn of Africa (BA-lecture and seminar)

    The module deals with the Horn of Africa and connections between this region and other regions of the world. It covers "cross-cutting issues" such as geography, environmental conditions and history as well as current issues regarding social and political dynamics in and between different countries (Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia) and in global contexts.

  • Current Debates (MA-seminar)

    This seminar concentrates on important and relatively recent debates in anthropology. It covers discussions since about 1990. Students, ideally, learn to take standpoints for and against an argument and in this way can develop a debate further. Broad topics are "globalization", "anthropology of death", "anthropology of morals", "security, war and humanitarianism" and "anthropology of expertise".

  • Introduction to socio-cultural anthropology

    This module introduces students to the basics of socio-cultural anthropology and offers training in important work techniques in academia. The lecture deals with the history of anthropology, theories of social practice, research methods and offers an outlook on current trends in the field. In the seminar, students discuss introductory texts and do some practical exercises.

  • Diaspora and transnationalism (BA-seminar)

    The established term diaspora was questioned at the beginning of the 1990s. Simultaneously, as part of a new awareness of international and global dynamics, anthropologists began to develop the concept of transnationalism. In the context of new research terms like "homeland", "migration", "integration", "identity" and "nation" were rethought. The seminar introduces commonalities, differences and current topics in the research on diaspora and transnationalism.