Dr. Udo Merkel is a Senior Lecturer in International Events Management. He holds various degrees from British and German universities in the Social Sciences, Sport Sciences and Educational Studies. Over the last twenty-five years, he has worked at a number of universities in mainland Europe, Latin America and South-East Asia. At the School of Sport and Service Management he teaches both undergraduate and postgraduate students (in the UK and abroad), and supervises PhD students. His lectures and seminars usually focus on the critical, social-scientific analysis of the international events industry. He is particularly interested in the sociology, politics and economics of hosting and participating in mega events, in particular sports events, and has published widely in this area.
After visiting North Korea twice for research purposes, he has produced a large number of papers on the socio-economic, cultural and political significance of festivals and spectacles in this secretive country paying particular attention to the role of events as a foreign policy/ diplomatic tool. He regularly comments on these issues in various media outlets in the USA, Asia, Australia and Europe.
Over the last few years, he has edited two cutting edge books: Power, Politics and International Events (2014, Routledge) and Identity Discourses and Communities in International Events, Festivals and Spectacles (2015, Palgrave Macmillan) drawing on the expertise of SaSM colleagues, outstanding postgraduate and PhD students. He also has a keen interest in comparative European sport studies and football fan cultures, and has advised the European Union, the Council of Europe and various governments on these issues.