1980 …2019

Research output per year

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Personal profile


2012-   Professor of Cultural Ecology and Sustainability, Heriot-Watt University

2012-    Emeritus Professor of Ethnology, Ulster University

2012-14 Professor of Irish & European Ethnology, University of Ulster (0.2 fte)

2011-18 Visiting Professor in European Ethnology, Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas

2005-12 Professor of Ethnology & Folklife, University of Ulster

2000-08 Professor of European Studies, University of the West of England, Bristol (Visiting 2005-08)

1992-99 Lecturer in Social Science (Irish Studies), University of Liverpool

1989-99 Lecturer (pt) in European Studies, University College Cork

1989-92 Visiting Research Fellow, Applied Population Research Unit, University of Glasgow

1988-92 Research Fellow in Irish Studies, University of Liverpool

1987-88 Lecturer (pt), Department of Political Science & Sociology, University College Galway

1986-88 Lecturer (pt), Department of Economics, University College Galway

1984-85 Lecturer (pt), School of Accounting & Applied Economics, Leeds Polytechnic

1976-80 first career in industrial management (Shell)

Research interests

My overarching research interest is in sustainable local and regional development, especially the appraisal, planning and management of heritage and other cultural resources, approached from an interdisciplinary perspective rooted in anthropology, cultural ecology and political economy.

  • Key Theme 1 – Cultural Dimensions of Economy and Environment

      Applied – endogenous development of communities, localities and regions, esp. utilisation of heritage/culture as resources; relationship between culture and place; socio-cultural implications of globalisation; intangible and environmental elements of heritage

      Theoretical – heterodox conceptualisations of economy from a perspective combining cultural anthropology, cultural ecology and ethics; religious ideas about economy; connections between culture and economy at all levels; history of ideas in relation to culture and political economy

  • Key Theme 2 – Cultural Encounters: Contact, Conflict and Communication

      Applied identity and historicity in border regions and other ethnic frontiers; cultural connections in inland sea regions (esp. Irish Sea, North Sea, Baltic Sea); cultural encounters in the context of historical and contemporary migrations primarily within Europe (esp. Germany, British Isles and Baltic region); human-nature encounters; countercultural social movements, past and present

      Theoretical – ‘belonging’ and ‘frontier’ as utopian categories and their societal actualisation in different cultural contexts; art and anthropology; intercultural philosophical anthropology


Field Work Locations

  • Main field research

      Republic of Ireland (various locations, 1982-95, 1997, 2001, 2003), Northern Ireland (various locations, 1989-99, 2002-12), England (various locations, 1986-05), Scotland (various locations, 1989-92, 1995-97, 2003- ), Germany (various locations, 1990-91, 1995, 1997, 2001- ), and Lithuania (various locations, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011- )

  • Other field research

      Spain/France (Basque country 1989, 1990), Finland (Karelia 1989, 1990), Denmark (Sønder-jylland 1990, 1997), Estonia (1994), Poland (Kashubia, Masuria & Northeastern border region 1996, Galicia 2001, Silesia 2012), Romania (Danube delta 1997), Italy (South Tyrol 1998, 2002), Slovenia (1999), and Sweden (2006, 2009)


Current Projects

  • Cultural forms and expressions of identity in Europe (initiated 2015; part of CoHERE, a €2.5m Horizon2020 project, 2016-19)
  • A Waterscape perspective on sustainable communities in vulnerable environments (initiated 2013; two PhD studentships 2016-19)
  • The ‘German Youth of the East’ and its transformation into an umbrella organisation for migrant self-organisations (initiated 2010; fieldwork funding from DAAD in 2011/12)
  • Cultural heritages in borderlands: Lithuania Minor and comparative locations in Europe (initiated 2009; now associated with Visiting Professorship at Kaunas)
  • Art and cultural ecology – issues for the 21st century (initiated 2002, various outputs)

External positions

Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas



  • GN Anthropology
  • economic anthropology
  • cultural encounters
  • philosophical anthropology
  • heritage
  • Germany
  • Lithuania
  • British Isles
  • GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
  • endogenous development
  • place, belonging and displacement
  • bioregionalism
  • sustainability

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Research Output

A companion to the anthropology of Europe

Kockel, U. (ed.), Nic Craith, M. (ed.) & Frykman, J. (ed.), 2012, Malden, USA: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

  • 10 Citations (Scopus)

    Being from and coming to: Outline of an Ethno-Ecological Framework

    Kockel, U., 2012, Radical Human Ecology: Intercultural and Indigenous Approaches. Williams, L., Roberts, R. & McIntosh, A. (eds.). Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing Ltd, p. 57-71

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

    10 Citations (Scopus)

    Re-visioning Europe: Frontiers, Place Identities and Journeys in Debatable Lands

    Kockel, U., 1 Jul 2010, Palgrave Macmillan.

    Research output: Other contribution

  • 21 Citations (Scopus)

    Towards an ethnology beyond self, other and third: Toposophical explorations

    Kockel, U., 2014, In : Tradicija ir dabartis. 9, p. 19-40

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Academy of Social Sciences

    Kockel, Ullrich (Recipient), 2003

    Prize: Election to learned society

  • Royal Irish Academy

    Kockel, Ullrich (Recipient), 2012

    Prize: Election to learned society


    Chair of the PhD major review, Intercultural Research center

    Aude le Guennec (Examiner) & Ullrich Kockel (Examiner)

    6 Jun 2018

    Activity: ExaminationExternal Examiner

    Chair of European Anthropology and the Anthropology of Europe

    Ullrich Kockel (Contributor)


    Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

    A Journal of Religion, Philosophy, Comparative Cultural Studies and Art (Journal)

    Ullrich Kockel (Editorial board member)

    2017 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial activity

    Intangible cultural heritage and how to practically safeguard it

    Ullrich Kockel (Speaker) & Máiréad Nic Craith (Speaker)


    Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk