Jose Piquer

Choiceless Europe? Political legitimation in Britain and Spain during the financial and economic crisis

Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS), University of Cambridge

ESR13 | Twitter: @josepiquerm

PhD defence

José Piquer defended his doctoral thesis Constrained partisanship: A comparative study of policy choices and party discourses in the British and Spanish crisis experiences (2008-2014) on 22 September 2021.

PhD project

In my research I analyse the varieties of political legitimation deployed by national governments to justify their policy choices during the financial crisis. In particular, I will present a comparative and in-depth examination of political discourses in Britain and Spain, two countries that experienced the financial crisis and a destabilising political backlash albeit in different form. The overarching question throughout my research is: how do governments legitimise policy choices when their autonomy to act is restricted? Methodologically, I combine several methods in a multi-stage research design. Theoretically, I aspire to explain some of the processes that may link constraints to policy choice with legitimation discourses as a way to improve our understanding of legitimacy crises that occur within democratic systems even beyond EU member states.

  • Supervisor: Christopher Bickerton, POLIS, University of Cambridge
  • Co-supervisor: Markus Jachtenfuchs, Berlin Graduate School for Transnational Studies


  • Clingendael - the Netherlands Institute of International Relations, The Hague 


Before joining the PLATO network, I worked in communications, advocacy, research and university program administration in different institutions (NGO, think tank, and university). I have studied and lived in Spain, the UK and Argentina, and I serve as a Member of NED Foundation, an NGO in the field of health care with projects in Sub-Saharan Africa. PLATO brings together everything I enjoy most about academic life, and I am pleased to be part of it. Nationality: Spanish.

  • MA in International Relations, IE School of International Relations, IE University
  • Postgraduate training in social research techniques and data analysis, Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas (CIS)
  • Five-year degree in Political Science and Public Administration, University of Valencia
  • Five-year degree in Journalism, University of Valencia




Published Oct. 4, 2017 9:29 PM - Last modified Apr. 8, 2022 4:00 PM