Joel Baker

Department of History

Research student (awarded)


Thesis title: 'Anti-politics', infrastructure policy and civil society mobilisations in Spain under the Primo de Rivera dictatorship (1923-1930)




Thesis abstract:

My project explores public works projects and welfare provisions in Spain under the Primo de Rivera dictatorship (1923-1930) and their role in the changes in the relationship between the Spanish state and its citizens in the interwar period.

This study will contribute to the historiography on Primo's dictatorship by approaching the relationship between state and society as a complex of two-way interactions which in which both parties shaped the 'power networks' underlying the state, rather than as a top-down imposition of reactionary, nationalist ideology.

It will contribute to our understanding of the functioning of the 'sources of social power' under a populist regime that blames traditional political elites for society's ills.

  • PhD History, University of Sheffield, 2017 - 2021
  • MA Historical Research, University of Sheffield, 2017
  • BA (Hons), Modern Languages (Spanish, Dutch, French) (First class), University of Sheffield, 2014


PhD scholarship: AHRC White Rose College of Arts and Humanities

Teaching activities

University of Sheffield Teaching Assistant: 

  • HST117 The Making of the Twentieth Century (2017-2018)
Publications and conferences

Conference and seminar papers:

  • 'Personal and Political Memories: The Collapse of the Second Spanish Republic in Two Communist Memoirs of the Civil War' at Memory, Minorities and Repression colloquium, University of Sheffield School of Languages and Cultures, 18 May 2017

Blog posts: