Welcome to my website at the University of Vienna

I am currently based at the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU Wien).

I teach a wide range of topics covering economics, international politics and development at the WU Wien, the University of Vienna and at the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna.

My academic career started in 2011, when I received my PhD at Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU Wien). Before that I worked for eleven years with the International Red Cross in over a dozen countries in Central Europe, Africa, Asia and in Brussels. 

My research agenda explores how institutional reforms have shaped today’s world order. Why have some nations become wealthy and politically influential while others have not? Institutional reform is at the heart of this question  but we still know rather little about what works and why.

I am currently leading a project funded by the Austrian National Bank (Anniversary Fund) which takes this question into the period of British decolonization in the mid-20th century. I investigate how individual actors – here British colonial bureaucrats already on their way out –  created the institutional framework on which liberal or modern coordinated market economies typically rest. At a micro level, the repertoire of ideas and networks of the individuals in charge of institutional reforms may co-determine reform outcomes. At the macro level there is quite some institutional diversity among former British colonies and the project explores to which extent this is related to the institutional variations (bricolage) introduced by individual senior bureaucrats.

This is really a rather long project which began when I first assembled a set of biographical records of the 14,000 most senior British colonial officers during my stay

In 2016, I teamed up with students (History Department, University of Vienna) to systematically interview the remaining colonial officers who were still alive. We wanted to learn about their motives, their networks and ideas when they prepared the colonies for independence. Until mid 2018, project VOICES recorded the personal histories of over 100 former colonial officers. We have also collected rich biographical material with the aim to publish it in a digital humanities project.

Feel free get involved with ASNIE, an Austrian platform for scholars and students interested in institutions and development!