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Prof. Dr. Michael Bollig

Office HoursOffice Hours
Wednesdays 12 pm -1.30 pm (enter your name on list)

Phone +49 221 470 3501
E-mail michael.bollig_ x _@_ y _uni-koeln.de
Board Member of the Global South Studies Center (GSSC)

Currently Taught Courses

Nachschreibeklausur Bollig 
TermineKLIPS2 Termine 
Duration2 Semesterwochenstunden
Type of CourseSeminar
Course LanguageDeutsch
Room107b Seminarraum B V (40 Sitzpl.) (107b/03/311) 
Einführung in die Ethnologie (BA-BM1) 
TermineKLIPS2 Termine 
Duration4 Semesterwochenstunden
Type of CourseEinführungsseminar
Course LanguageDeutsch
Room100 Hörsaal XII (137 Sitzpl.) (100/01/HS XII) 
Kolloquium | Prof. Bollig (MA-AM2) 
TermineKLIPS2 Termine 
Duration2 Semesterwochenstunden
Type of CourseKolloquium
Course LanguageDeutsch
Interdisziplinäre Forschungsklasse UNESCO Welterbe - Nachbereitung (MA-EM) 
TermineKLIPS2 Termine 
Duration4 Semesterwochenstunden
Type of CoursePraktische Uebung
Course LanguageDeutsch, Englisch
Room103 Seminarraum S57 (35 Sitzpl.) (103/EG/0.111) 

Short Biography

2017 Winner of the Leo Spitzer Award 2018 at the University of Cologne

Since 2015 Associate Vice Rector for International Relations with the Global South of the University of Cologne

Since 2013 Vice Spokesperson for the Cologne Global South Studies Centre

2011-2015 Vice Rector for International Relations, Academic Career and Diversity of the University of Cologne

2009/2012/2015 Three months fieldwork in Namibia on social dynamics and conservation

Since 2010 Speaker of the FOR 1501 Resilience, Collapse and Reorganisation in the Savannahs of Eastern and Southern Africa.

Since 2009 Director of the Cologne African Studies Centre.

2009 W3 professorship offered at Hamburg (declined).

2004 - 2005 Nine months field work in Namibia on environmental history.

2003 Participation in founding workshop for SAVI initiative (Southern African Vulnerability Initiative) in Maputo.

2001 C4 professorship offered at Halle (declined).

Since 2000 Professor for Anthropology at the University of Cologne and Speaker for the Interdisciplinary Programme Arid Climate and Cultural Evolution in Arid Africa (ACACIA); the programme includes several doctoral studies on resource management in southern Africa’s communal areas.

1999 Habilitation in Anthropology at the Faculty of Fine Arts (Philosophische Fakultät); University of Cologne; Thesis Title: "Living in a Hazardous World – Risk management in two pastoral societies; Pokot NW Kenya and Himba NW Namibia".

1992 - 1999 Associate Professor for Anthropology at the University of Cologne.

1991 PhD Thesis "Warriors of the Yellow Guns. Intra- and interethnic conflict management among the Pokot of Kenya" in Tübingen.

1987 - 1989 Two years fieldwork with the pastoral Pokot of Kenya.

1986 - 1991 Member of a research project on "Violence and War in Third World Countries" in Tübingen.

1986 MA on Social Networks among Slum Dwellers in Karatina, Central Kenya.

1983 - 1986 Studies of Anthropology, History and African Studies at Cologne.

1981 - 1983 Studies of Anthropology, History and Rural Sociology at Bonn.

1961 born in Dattenfeld/Sieg, Germany.

Thematic Interests and Regional Focus

Human-environment interaction, political ecology, environmental history, transition of local knowledge, conflict.

Southern and Eastern Africa.

Academic Memberships

2010-2012 Executive Director of the Society of Africa-related Sciences in Germany (Vereinigung der Afrikawissenschaften Deutschlands).

2008-2010 Referee (Fachkollegiat) for Anthropology with the German Research Council.

2004 - 2008 Referee (Fachkollegiat) for Anthropology with the German Research Council.

Since 2003 Editorial Board of Human Ecology.

Current Research Projects and Grants

Collaborative Research Center 228
"Future Rural Africa: Future-making and social-ecological transformation"

Funding period: 2018-2022; Funded by: DFG

Programme speaker: Prof. Dr. Detlef Müller-Mahn (University of Bonn) and Prof. Dr. Michael Bollig (University of Cologne)

Resilience in East African Landscapes (REAL)

Funding period: 2013-2017; funded by: EU

Programme leader: Prof. Dr. M. Bollig

Programme coordinator at the University of Cologne: M. Gravesen, E. Kioko

See download section at the bottom of site for the project’s and sub-project’s executive summaries.

Anthropological Models: A Reconstruction of the First African Frontier

Funding period: 2013-2018; funded by DFG

Programme leader: Prof. Dr. M. Bollig, Prof. Dr. T. Widlok

Publications (Selection)


Guest editors: Bollig, Michael and Lesorogol, Carolyn
2016    International Journal of the Commons, Special Issue 10,2: Pastoralism and the New Commons. Co-Management, Conflict and Cooperation.

Guest editors: Bollig, Michael and Anderson, David M.
2016    Journal of Eastern African Studies, Special Issue 10,1: Resilience and Collapse in African Savannahs. Causes and Consequences of Environmental Change in East Africa.
Bollig, Michael; Schnegg, Michael; Wotzka, Hans-Peter (Hg.)
2013    Pastoralism in Africa. Past, Present and Future. New York: Berghahn.
Bollig, Michael; Bubenzer, Olaf (Hg.)
2009    African Landscapes. Interdisciplinary Approaches. (Studies in Human Ecology and Adaptation, Vol. 4). New York: Springer. Available as E-Book on SpringerLink, preview on books.google.com

Rao, Aparna; Bollig, Michael; Böck, Monika (Hg.)
2007    The Practice of War. Production, Reproduction and Communication of Armed Violence. New York: Berghahn. Available for download on payment (PayPal), preview on books.google.com

Bollig, Michael; Bubenzer, Olaf; Vogelsang, Ralf; Wotzka, Hans-Peter (Hg.)
2007    Aridity, Change and Conflict in Africa. Proceedings of an International ACACIA Conference held at Königswinter, Germany, October 1-3, 2003. (Colloquium Africanum 2). Köln: Heinrich Barth Institut.


2017: Interkulturelle Vergleichsverfahren. In: Beer, B., H. Fischer and J. Pauli (eds.) Ethnologie: Einführung in die Erforschung kultureller Vielfalt. Berlin: Reimer: 107-124.

2016: Towards an Arid Eden? Boundary-making, governance and benefit-sharing and the political ecology of the new commons of Kunene Region, Northern Namibia. In: International Journal of the Commons 10,2: 771-799. DOI: 10.18352/ijc.702.

2016: Adaptive cycles in the Savannah. Pastoral specialization and diversification in northern Kenya. In: Journal of Eastern African Studies 10,1 (Special Issue): 21-44. DOI: 10.1080/17531055.2016.1141568.

Anderson, David M.; Bollig, Michael
2016: Resilience and collapse. Histories, ecologies, conflicts and identities in the Baringo-Bogoria Basin, Kenya. In: Journal of Eastern African Studies 10,1 (Special Issue):  1-20. DOI: 10.1080/17531055.2016.1150240.

Mathias Becker, Miguel Alvarez, Gereon Heller, Paul Leparmarai, Damaris Maina, Itambo Malombe, Michael Bollig, Hauke Vehrs
2016: Land-use changes and the invasion dynamics of shrubs in Baringo. In: Journal of Eastern African Studies 10,1 (Special Issue): 111-129. DOI: 10.1080/17531055.2016.1138664.

Bollig, Michael; Olwage, Elsemi
2016: The Political Ecology of Hunting in Namibia’s Kaokoveld. From Dorsland Trekkers’ Elephant Hunts to Trophy-hunting in Contemporary Conservancies. In: Journal of Contemporary African Studies 34 (Issue 1: Hunting in Contempory Africa): 61-79. DOI: 10.1080/02589001.2016.1182745.

Linstädter, A.; Kuhn, A.; Naumann, C.; Rasch, S.; Sandhage-Hofmann, A.; Amelung, W.; Jordaan, J.; Du Preez, C. C.; Bollig, M.
2016: Assessing the resilience of a real-world social-ecological system. Lessons from a multidisciplinary evaluation of a South African pastoral system. In: Ecology and Society 21,3: 35. DOI: 10.5751/ES-08737-210335.

Ming'ate, Felix Lamech Mogambi; Bollig, Michael
2016: Local Rules and Their Enforcement in the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest Reserve Co-Management Arrangement in Kenya. In: Journal of East African Natural History 105: 1-19. DOI: 10.2982/028.105.0102.

Schnegg, Michael; Bollig, Michael
2016: Institutions put to the test. Community-based water management in Namibia during a drought. In: Journal of Arid Environments 124: 62-71. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaridenv.2015.07.009.

Schnegg, Michael; Bollig, Michael; Linke, Theresa
2016: Moral equality and success of common-pool water governance in Namibia. In: Ambio 45,5: 581-590. DOI: 10.1007/s13280-016-0766-9.