Prof. Dr. Ulf Engel

Prof. Dr. Ulf Engel

Wiss. Mitarbeiter (Außerplanmäßiger Professor)

Gesellschaft, Politik und Wirtschaft in Afrika
Geisteswissenschaftliches Zentrum
Beethovenstraße 15, Room 2209
04107 Leipzig

Phone: +49 341 97-37038
Fax: +49 341 97-37048

Abstract

As a political scientist and historian, I am mainly interested in two sets of topics:

First, the development of continental and regional organisations in Africa (especially the African Union and the RECs), the policies of these organisations in the fields of governance, peace and security, and the role of Africa's regional organisations in globalisation processes. I locate my own research at the intersection of historical and sociological institutionalism and current debates on practices. 

Second, I follow more closely developments in South Africa and Southern Africa, as well as in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. Here, too, I follow a deductive, comparative, and historicizing approach.

Professional career

  • since 06/2022
    Director Centre for French Studies, Leipzig University
  • 01/2018 - 12/2021
    director Graduate Centre Humanities and Social Sciences, Research Academy Leipzig
  • since 01/2016
    co-director of the Integrated Doctoral Training Programme of the DFG CRC 1199 (with U. Wardenga, IfL Leipzig)
  • 01/2011 - 12/2022
    professor extraordinary in the Dept. of Political Science, Stellenbosch U, South Africa
  • since 01/2012
    visiting professor at the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS), Addis Ababa U, Ethiopia
  • 01/2011 - 01/2018
    co-director of the DFG Priority Programme 1448 “Adaptation and Creativity in Africa. Technologies and Significations in the Production of Order and Disorder” (with R. Rottenburg, U Halle)
  • since 01/2008
    dual membership in the faculties of Social Science and Philosophy as well as History, Arts and Regional Studies, resp.
  • since 07/2006
    Professor for "Politics in Africa" at the Institute of African Studies, Faculty of History, Art and Regional Studies (GKO), Leipzig U
  • 01/2006 - 01/2016
    director of DFG Doctoral Training Programme (Graduiertenkolleg) 1261 “Critical Junctures of Globalisation”
  • 10/2005 - 01/2010
    appointment as DAAD Willy Brandt professor, Stellenbosch U, South Africa (not able to accept)
  • 04/1999 - 06/2006
    assistant professor „Politics in Africa“ at the Institute of African Studies, Faculty of History, Art and Oriental Studies (GKO), Leipzig U (10/1998-03/1999 acting)
  • 01/1994 - 01/1997
    research associate at the Dept. of History, U Hannover & Institute for African Studies (Hamburg)
  • 01/1989 - 01/1992
    research associate, Institute of Political Science, U Hamburg

Education

  • 06/1998 - 10/1999
    Habilitation (“The Africa policy of the Federal Republic of Germany 1949-1999”; venia legendi: political science), U Hamburg
  • 09/1989 - 01/1994
    Dr. phil. (“The Policy of Zimbabwe”), U Hamburg Foreign
  • 10/1981 - 01/1987
    Diploma political science (“The developmental programme discussion in the SPD 1982-1987”), U Hamburg

Research interests

  • international and regional organisations, in particular the African Union and the RECs/RMs, African Peace and Security Architecture, African Governance Architecture
  • conflict prevention, early warning, preventive diplomacy, and conflict analysis
  • German Africa policy (foreign affairs, development assistance, security policy)
  • political developments in South Africa (and Southern Africa) as well as in Ethiopia (and the Horn of Africa, East Africa)


Methodological focus

Global Studies, International Studies, critical area studies, transregional studies, spatial turn


  • PREVEX – Preventing violent extremism in the Balkans and the broader MENA region
    Engel, Ulf
    Duration: 01/2020 – 12/2021
    Funded by: EU Europäische Union
    Involved organisational units of Leipzig University: Leipzig Research Centre Global Dynamics (ReCentGlobe)
    show details
  • SFB 1199/B07: Interregionalism and Security in the Sahel: The African Union, ECOWAS, and the European Union
    Engel, Ulf
    Duration: 01/2020 – 12/2023
    Funded by: DFG Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
    Involved organisational units of Leipzig University: Leipzig Research Centre Global Dynamics (ReCentGlobe); Institut für Afrikastudien; SFB 1199: Verräumlichungsprozesse unter Globalisierungsbedingungen
    show details
  • Political populism in Southern Africa
    Engel, Ulf
    Duration: 06/2020 – 05/2024
    Funded by: BMBF Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung
    Involved organisational units of Leipzig University: Leipzig Research Centre Global Dynamics (ReCentGlobe)
    show details
  • Competence Network „African non-military conflict intervention practices” (ANCIP)
    Engel, Ulf
    Duration: 04/2022 – 03/2025
    Funded by: BMBF Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung
    Involved organisational units of Leipzig University: Leipzig Research Centre Global Dynamics (ReCentGlobe)
    show details

more projects

  • Engel, U. (Ed.)
    Yearbook on the African Union. Volume 2 (2021).
    Leiden, Boston MA: Brill. 2022.
    show details
  • Engel, U.; Döring, K.; Herpolsheimer, J.; Gelot, L. (Eds.)
    Researching the Inner Life of the African Peace and Security Architecture
    Leiden, Boston MA: Brill. 2021.
    show details
  • Engel, U. (Ed.)
    Yearbook on the African Union. Volume 1 (2020)
    Leiden, Boston MA: Brill. 2021.
    show details
  • Engel, U. (Ed.)
    Yearbook on the African Union. Volume 3 (2022) (in print)
    Leiden, Boston MA: Brill. 2023.
    show details

more publications

I am teaching in the following programmes: BA Afrikastudien, MA African Studies, MA Global Studies and MA Global Studies with a special emphasis on peace and security (in Addis Ababa). Furthermore, I am teaching in the PhD programmes of the Graduate School of Global and Area Studies (GSGAS), the Integrated Graduate School of the CRC 1199 and at the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (Addis Ababa).

  • BA 03-AFR-1300 Vorlesung "Politik in Afrika" (WS)

    In der Vorlesung ‚Politik in Afrika‘ werden grundlegende Pfade der politischen Entwicklung Afrikas seit der Unabhängigkeit systematisiert und in den Gang der wissenschaftlichen Debatte über diese Phänomene seit den 1960-er Jahren eingeordnet. Themen sind u. a. der Staat in Afrika, Regimetypologien und -entwicklung, politisierte Ethnizität, Neopatrimonialismus, Wahl- und Parteienforschung sowie politische und gewaltsame Konflikte.

  • BA 03-AFR-1300 Übung "African Futures"

    In dieser Übung wird das Denken über und die Herstellung von Zukünften Afrikas diskutiert - vor allem mit Blick auf das Themenfeld Frieden und Sicherheit. Im ersten Teil der Übung geht es um zwei Fragen: Welche methodologischen Arten der Herstellung von Zukünften dominieren? Worein bestehen ihre Stärken und Schwächen? Im zweiten Teil wollen wir gemeinsam ein Zukunftsszenario für ein von Ihnen gewähltes Themenfeld erarbeiten.

  • MA 03-AFR-2102 seminar "The State in Africa: Debates from Southern Africa" (winter term)

    This seminar briefly recaps the evolution of theorizing on "the state" in Africa. The main focus is on recent case studies from Southern Africa, including the land question in Zimbabwe and South Africa, nation-building through hosting mega sports events in South Africa, resource extraction and corruption in Angola, traditional authority in Botswana, etc.

  • MA 03-AFGR-2012 lecture "International Studies" (winter term)

    This lecture is an introduction to debates on globalisation processes. After a brief reflection on traditional approaches, three main debates are introduced to decentre the conventional wisdom: postcolonial thinking, critical area studies, and critical political geography. The illustrations are mainly drawn from the African continent.

  • MA AFR 2111 seminar "Governance, Peace, and Security in Africa" (summer term)

    This seminar is taking stock of the state of peace, security, and governance in Africa. It addresses the current dynamics of implementing the complementary African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) and African Governance Architecture (AGA) by the African Union.

Research fields

Historical science, Global studies, African studies, Politics, political science, Society

Contact for media inquiries

Phone: +49 341 97-37038
Fax: +49 341 97-37048