Jan Pesl

The EU's post-crisis legitimacy and the public sphere

ARENA Centre for European Studies, University of Oslo

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PhD project

How is the European project legitimised, justified, contested, and criticised by the various interpretive communities active in the European transnational public sphere? How do these evaluations change over time? These questions delineate the empirical puzzle addressed by my PhD project aiming on building social theory on the current EU’s legitimacy crisis.

I combine qualitative discourse analysis and novel techniques of quantitative big-data analysis. Taking full-text databases aggregating media reports as my primary source of data, I will render a fine-grained image of the diverse standards of valuation dominant in the national public spheres as well as significant trends on the transnational level.

Supervisor: Asimina Michailidou, ARENA Centre for European Studies, University of Oslo

Co-supervisors: Katrin Auel, Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna and Cathrine Holst, Department of Sociology and Human Geography and ARENA, University of Oslo


Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM), Warsaw


Besides my MA programme in Sociology, I have spent one academic year at the University of Bergen in Norway studying system dynamics. When I first learned about the PLATO project, it struck me as an ideal opportunity to combine my passion for social theory with novel research techniques. Moreover, the topic of the study is more relevant for the future of the European project than ever. Nationality: Czech. 

  • MA in Sociology, Masaryk University
  • BA in Sociology and International Relations, Masaryk University


  • paris-lausberg Becoming a presenter with impact

    As part of PLATO's training programme, the Centre for European Studies and Comparative Politics, Sciences Po Paris hosted a three-day training in giving scientific presentations. Focusing on presentation skills through intensive rehearsal early on in a doctorate quickly proved its value.

  • plato-phds-arena-660 What happened after the financial crisis?

    Fifteen young researchers from all over Europe are starting their PhDs this fall, all with the same question: Did the financial crisis lead to a crisis that now calls into question the very existence of the European Union?



Published Sep. 21, 2017 3:19 PM - Last modified Sep. 15, 2020 4:15 PM