Udo Merkel holds degrees in the Social Sciences and Sport Sciences from the University of Cologne and the German Sport University. His MA in the Sociology of Sport is from the University of Leicester and his PhD from the University of Oldenburg.
In the early 1990s he contributed to the establishment of a new Research Centre for Comparative European Sport and Leisure Studies at the German Sport University in Cologne. Subsequently he spent nine years at the University of Brighton’s Chelsea School.
After leaving Brighton in 2003 he worked at several universities in Latin-America and East Asia. Before joining the School of Service Management in May 2008, he taught at Roehampton University in London.
At the School of Sport and Service Management he is part of the Events Management team focusing on the social-scientific analysis of the events industry. His research and teaching interests are in the Sociology and politics of international sports events and spectacles; International politics/foreign policy and sport in Europe and South-East Asia; The socio-historical development of the Soccer World Cup and European football cultures; Divided societies, inequalities, power and conflicts.
He has written widely about these areas, particularly evaluating the role of sport events as a foreign policy/diplomatic tool, and is currently preparing a book offering critical, social-scientific analyses of "Power, Politics and International Events" that will be published by Routledge in 2013.