Sebastian Balfour was awarded an MA in Latin American Studies at the Latin American Institute, University of London, and a Doctorate in History at the LSE. He held a Senior Lectureship at Goldsmiths, University of London and was appointed to a Readership in Contemporary Spanish Studies at the LSE in 1996 where he became Assistant Director of the Cañada Blanch Centre for Contemporary Spanish Studies. He was appointed Professor in the Department of Government and the European Institute.
Since 2006 he has been Emeritus Professor in the Government Department and later Senior Fellow of the Catalan Observatory. He has published numerous books, which have been translated into several languages, and articles in leading Spanish and English/American journals and newspapers on themes ranging from the Cuban Revolution to the loss of Empire in Spain, military intervention in 20th century Spain, the Spanish Civil War, nation and identity, popular protest during the Franco Dictatorship and the transition to democracy, Catalan nationalism and political crisis in Spain.
He has appeared on numerous media outlets in Spain, Britain, Europe and beyond, including filmed documentaries, TV, radio and newspaper interviews.
He has worked closely with the Museu d’Historia de Barcelona, co-curating an exhibition on the Francoist project of authoritarian modernisation and its economic and socio-political consequences, and collaborating in the creation of the Museu d’Historia Moderna de Barcelona. He received an award from the Moroccan Association of Memory of the Rif in recognition of his research on the colonial war in Northern Morocco in the 1920s.