Since 2004, Rüdiger Korff is professor of Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Passau. Prior to the present assignment he was professor of Sociology of Development at the University of Hohenheim and at the National University of Malaysia. He had studied Sociology at the University of Bielefeld from 1973 to 1978. After longer sojourns in Thailand for empirical work for his Ph.D. he was lecturer of Sociology and Anthropology at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok and, following his Habilitation in Sociology, Reader of Sociology of Development and Social Anthropology at the University of Bielefeld until 1998.
The focus of his work is urbanism and patterns of urban self organisation especially in global cities as well as Southeast Asian Studies.