Woker, Madeline

Field: International and Global; Advisors: Pedersen/Saada; Year: 2014

Madeline Woker is a PhD candidate in history at Columbia University. Her domains of interest include the history of taxation and the political and economic history of the French Colonial Empire. Her dissertation explores the politics of taxation in the French colonial empire during the interwar period and seeks to explain how French colonial fiscal systems worked and the influence that fiscal power had on the colonial body politic. Colonial tax systems were distinctly unequal and often compared to the French ancien régime fiscal regime. However, the interwar period marked a crucial moment in global fiscal history as issues of wealth distribution and inequality became much more prominent. Examples are drawn from Algeria, Indochina and West Africa in order to explain the origins of the colonial revenue imperative, the rationale behind the building of colonial tax systems and the ways in which these systems were discussed, negotiated, evaded and resisted in colonial societies.

This year, she holds a Columbia GSAS International Travel Fellowship. She is also an Alliance Sciences Po scholar and has received grants and fellowships from the Social Science Research Council, the Center for History and Economics (Harvard/Cambridge), the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, the Institute for African Studies, the and the Helen McArthur Foundation. 


Madeline has degrees from Sciences Po Paris and the London School of Economics. In 2014, she received her MPhil in Modern European History from the University of Cambridge (with distinction).


Madeline has worked as a public affairs officer in the satellite communications industry.