Valentin Seidler

I am an economic historian and a development economist. I am currently an Erwin Schrödinger Fellow at the University of Vienna and a Resident Fellow at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Digital History. I teach at 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 ten years with the International Red Cross in over a dozen countries in Africa, Asia, Central Europe and in Brussels. 

My research agenda explores how individual actors have shaped the course of history. To estimate the effects of  indvidual colonial bureaucrats on post-independence development I use an entirely new dataset of over 14,000 British colonial officers which I have assembled during my stay

Recently I teamed up with students (History Department, University of Vienna) to systematically interview remaining colonial officers still alive today. We wanted to find out in which context colonial officers worked and what exactly they did to prepare the colonies for independence. Until mid 2018, project VOICES has 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!