Prof. Dr. Ulf Engel

Prof. Dr. Ulf Engel

Research Fellow

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

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



- BA Afrikastudien

- MA African Studies, MA Global Studies, and MA Global Studies with a special emphasis on peace and security (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)

- PhD: co-director of the Integrated Doctoral Training Programme (IGK) of DFG SFB 1199 "Processes of Spatialization under the Global Condition" (since 2016, with Prof Dr Ute Wardenga)


- "Interregionalism and security in the Sahel: The African Union, ECOWAS and the European Union", DFG SFB 1199 sub-project (2020-2023, with Dr Jens Herpolsheimer)

- "Preventing Violent Extremism in the Balkans and the MENA: Strengthening Resilience in Enabling Environments", EU Horizon 2020, sub-project WP8 on the comparison (2019-2023, with PD Dr Gilad Ben-Nun)

- "Political Populism in Southern Africa", BMBF Research Institute Social Cohesion subproject (RISC, 2020-2024, with Dr. des. Constanze Blum)

- "African non-military conflict intervention practices (ANCIP)", BMBF 2022-2026 (with PRIF Frankfurt/Main & Duisburg-Essen U)

Professional career

  • 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 SFB 1199 (with U. Wardenga, IfL Leipzig)
  • 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 01/2011
    Professor Extraordinary in the Dept. of Political Science, Stellenbosch U, South Africa
  • 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 Globalization”
  • 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


  • 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 policy, 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

Selected publications (past 5 y's)

  • (ed.) 2021. Yearbook on the African Union. Volume 1. Leiden, Boston MA: Brill.
  • (eds.) 2021. Researching the Inner Life of the African Peace and Security Architecture. APSA Inside-out. Leiden, Boston MA: Brill (with K.P.W. Döring, L. Gelot and J. Herpolsheimer).
  • (eds.) 2020. The Finances of Regional Organisations in the Global South – Follow the Money. Abingdon: Routledge (with F. Mattheis).
  • (ed.) 2019. 'Africa's Transregional Conflicts', Comparativ 28 (6): 7–92 (special issue).
  • (eds.) 2018. Extractive Industries and Changing State Dynamics: Beyond the Resource Curse. Abingdon: Routledge (with E. Macamo and J. Schubert).
  • (eds.) 2018. Spatial Practices: Territory, Borders and Infrastructure in Africa. Leiden, Boston MA: Brill Academic Publishers (with M. Boeckler and D. Müller-Mahn).

For some PDFs have a look at: <>.

  • 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
  • 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

more projects

  • Engel, U. (Ed.)
    Africa’s Transregional Conflict Complexes
    Comparativ. Zeitschrift für Globalgeschichte und vergleichende Gesellschaftsforschung. 2018. 28 (6)
    show details
  • Engel, U.
    Early Warning
    In: Middell, M. (Ed.)
    Routledge Handbook on Transregional Studies. London: Routledge. 2019. pp. 573-581
    show details
  • Engel, U.
    International Studies
    In: Klemm, K.; Middell, M. (Eds.)
    The Many Facets of Global Studies. Perspectives from the Erasmus Mundus Global Studies Programme. Leipzig: Leipziger Universitätsverlag. 2019. pp. 46-50
    show details
  • Engel, U.
    Peace and Security
    In: Middell, M. (Ed.)
    Routledge Handbook on Transregional Studies. London: Routledge. 2019. pp. 295-302
    show details
  • Engel, U.
    The 2007 African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance: Trying to Make Sense of Late Ratification of the Charter and Non-Implementation of Its Compliance Mechanism
    Africa Spectrum. 2019. 54 (2). pp. 127-146
    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). 


In the winter term I am offering the following classes:

  • BA AFR 1300 "Einführung Politik in Afrika" (lecture)
  • BA AFR 1302 "Afrika in der Welt - Die Welt in Afrika" (seminar)
  • BA AFR 1300 "African Futures: Aktuelle Debatten" (seminar)
  • MA AFR 2101 (= GS 920) "The State in Africa" (seminar)
  • MA AFR 2102 (= GS 720) "International Studies: Introduction to Social Science Theories on Globalization" (lecture)
  • plus two MA colloquia (GS, ADD) and GSGAS classes (AG International Studies, winter school, etc.)

on November 2022 I also teach a class on "Think tanks on peace and security in global comparison" at the IPSS in Addis Ababa.

And in the summer term I am offering:

  • MA AFR 2111 "Peace and Security in Africa" (seminar)
  • plus three MA colloquia (AFR, GS, GS ADD), the EMGS summer school and GSGAS classes (Working group International Studies, summer school, etc.).

All seminars are supported by the university’s e-learning portal, Moodle 2.0.