Udo Merkel

Dr. Udo Merkel is is a Senior Lecturer in Events Management at the University of Brighton. He holds various degrees from British and German universities in the Social Sciences and Sport Sciences. Over the last twenty 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 is part of the Events Management team teaching both undergraduate and postgraduate students (in the UK and abroad). He also supervises PhD students. His lectures and seminars usually focus on the critical, social-scientific analysis of the 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. Over the last few years, after visiting North Korea twice, he has produced a large number of papers on the political significance of festivals and spectacles in this secretive country paying particular attention to the role of events as a foreign policy/diplomatic tool. Furthermore, he has recently 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). He also has a keen interest in comparative European studies and football fan cultures.

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North and South Korea to unite at Winter Olympics: here are the hidden agendas behind this sports diplomacy

For many Western ears, Pyongyang and Pyeongchang sound very similar. Both are names of cities on the divided Korean peninsula. But the former is North Korea’s capital and show city, and the latter is the host town of the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea’s Gangwon Province. It is located just...

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