Human capacity development,  migration & integration, cross-cultural Management, social cohesion, impact monitoring, international relations.


1. Southeast Asia

Local finance management & decentralisation in Indonesia (2009-2010)

Indonesia is, with a population of approximately 261 million people, the fourth largest country in the world. Since 1999, the decentralization of the island state has been promoted through a variety of laws and regulations. The systemic changes require, on the one hand, the monitoring of social, economical and environmental impacts and, on the other hand, result in a tremendous training need for stakeholders (including officials, policy makers, cities and villages).

LochTCR worked on site in Indonesia together with researchers and lecturers from six universities (Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Malang, Manado, Makassar, Padang). The focus was on issues of local financial management and modern capacity building in order to qualify national human resources for sustainable decentralization.

Psychosocial reconstruction in Timor Leste  (2002-2005)

How do people mentally process their deconstructive experiences of 24 years of violence and occupation? What helps, after years of trauma? Which traditional reconstruction modes are not (or insufficiently) recognized by modern development projects? Are religious sisters the better therapist?
Three years of field research on the island of East Timor and learning the local language, Tetum, were necessary to investigate these and similar questions.
The theoretical answers and conclusions are published in a 560 pages monograph "Haus, Handy & Halleluja - Psychosoziale Rekonstruktion in Osttimor" (IKO publisher, 2007). In particular, the parallels of change management in developmental assistance and indigenous therapy gained international attention.

2. Himalaya & Hindukusch

"Diagnostik in Trance": Traditional healers in Kumaon (Northern India, 1998)
The so-called Dangaria are women who intentionally temporarily reach  an altered state of consciousness and help clients seeking advice in the elaboration of their own potential solution, by applying techniques quite similar to western client-centered therapy.
Field research with Dr. M. Kharkwal, University of Bairelly.

Civil-military cooperation in Afghanistan (2010)
After an initial consultant assignment for Caritas International in Kabul, (2005) a set of questions about the working with (and in) conflict were increasingly discussed among civil and military decisionmakers. LochTCR regularly adresses them in leadership courses of the German armed forces..

Acculturation dynamics of German develpmental workers  (Nepal, 1995)
Crossing borders and cultures - whether voluntarily as developmental worker or forced as IDP - is always accompanied by cognitive and emotional processes that can be observed at the individual level, but also in groups. From the psychological genesis deciding to leave home to the acculturation on site, German aid workers in Nepal allowed ethno-psychological insights in their routines.

Gandhara-art (Pakistan, 1992)
Why does the fold of a Buddha statue in the Swat Valley look like a Greek statue? Already Alexander the Great had come to the Indus ... - during an early ethnological study visit these and similar questions could be investigated in depth.

3. Cross Cultural Comparison (focus: ASEAN region)

Collaboration in cross-cultural comparative value research (with Shalom Schwarz and Klaus Boehnke, 1994);
Visiting Scholar at the Australian National University (ANU) Research School for Asian and Pacific Studies (RSPAS) (2005);
Conducting feasibility studies and implementing development programs in Burma (2004), Cuba (2007), East Timor (2000-2010), Indonesia (2009-2010), China (2005), Mozambique (2010), Tanzania (1998);
Participation in conference organizations: International Association for Cross Cultural Psychology (1998-2008); Network Refugee Research (2018).


JOINT LEARNING JOURNEYS of German students and international refugees: Black forest (2016, 2017, 2018)
funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

Arabic pita-bread or Swabian "Maultaschen"? The negotiation processes of students of administrative sciences and refugees from Syria and numerous other countries of origin (who already reached A2 level in German) provide the base for applied research. During the joint learning journeys  in a Black Forest hut participants build focus groups discussing cultural integration, refugee regimes, de-Christianization of the West, modernization of Islam , cultural variations etc.

funded by the Volkswagen-Stiftung and the Max-Planck-Instititut (VW; MPI)

The island of Papua is well known for its cultural diversity; however many of the 250 ethno-linguistic groups of West Papua are  at the brink losing their intangible cultural heritage. With substantial support from the Volkswagen Foundation and the Max-Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, LochTCRestablished a Center for Endangered Languages Documentation in Manokwari (Indonesia) together with researchers at the Universitas Papua Negeri (UNIPA) and the DOBES team from the University of Münster.

Conflict- & Emotion Regulation: Timor Leste & Indonesia (2000, 2007)
funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG)

Towards the end of the millennium two geopgraphic regions were very difficult to access in insular Southeast Asia: Shortly after the UN independence referendum, one could reach East Timor only in a plane of the World Food Program; the crisis regions of Papua were only accessible by foot. But the expedition effort was worth it: investigations proved that emotional expressions have a universal repertoire - but what causes "anger" in the highlands of Papua or what "traumatizes" can be only explained under consideration of a cultural context. One has to go there to understand it.

Action Research at the Instituto Cathólico para Formação de Professores in Baucau: Timor Leste (2002-2005)
supported by the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Entwicklungshilfe (AGEH) and Misereor

Anthropologists historically tended to carry out research on the "strangers", rather than entering into dialogues with the people that mutually inspired and facilitated development processes. After independence in East Timor, the opportunity arose to discover not only unique ethnographic material (e.g. on the sacred house reconstructions of Makassae) and to observe the post-conflictual processes in Asia's least developed country, but also to contribute by setting up a Teacher Training Institute (ICFP) a lasting contribution to the development of education in this country.

Film-Productions on intercultural communication in Chiang Mai, Thailand (1999)
supported by the German foundation for International Development (DSE)

In the VOP Studios, Chiang Mai, a set of films was produced showing typical critical incidents in the cooperation of Asian and German partners. Later footage on Intercultural Communication in African, MENA and South American contexts were carried out in the German Foundation for International Development

With boats, buses & trans-sibirian railway from Southeast Asia to Paris (2005)
together with A. Muir, Monash University

Detours are known to increase local knowledge. And those who want to reach their destination quickly should, as Konfucius advises, go slowly. After three years in East Timor, the return to Germany took place slowly via Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, China, Mongolia, Russia, Eastern Europe. But the re-entry shock in the face of the introduction of the euro during a long absence was challenging ...

River passage  on the Mekong in an own wooden longboat, Laos/Cambodia (2001)
togehter with A. von Törne

A feasibility study that ended at the shores ... - the rapids below Luang Prabang compel respect for the Mekong. At least, when the paddle drifted away it became evident: panta rei ...!!!