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Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)



Jose Tomas Labarca is an Isaac Newton Trust Academic Career Development Fellow at POLIS and St Edmund's College. Before coming to Cambridge, he was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Department of European and International Studies, King's College London, working on the Leverhulme Trust-funded project The Political Economy of Growth Models in an Age of Stagnation.

Jose Tomas' academic background is interdisciplinary, combining degrees in History and Sociology. He received his PhD in Sociology from The University of Edinburgh. In 2023, his PhD was awarded with the Political Studies Association’s Walter Bagehot Prize for the best dissertation in the field of government and public administration.

His current research agenda looks at the state, government elites, expert knowledge, and economic policymaking in the UK. His book project reconstructs pivotal transformations in British budget politics and macroeconomic institutions in the 1960s-1980s and offers counter-intuitive insights that complicate existing models of broad-ranging political-economy changes, neoliberalism, and austerity politics.


  • Political economy
  • Twentieth-century British history and politics
  • Historical, economic, and political sociology
  • Economic policymaking
  • Macroeconomic policymaking
  • Government elites
  • Expert knowledge
  • The modern state


Key publications: 


Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Atria, J., Biehl, A., & Labarca, J.T. (2019). Towards a Fiscal Sociology of Latin America. ERLACS – European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, No. 107, pp.139-150.

Biehl, A., Labar ca, J.T., & Vela, J. (2019). Taxes Without Taxpayers: The Invisibility of Taxes in Chile. Revista Mexicana de Ciencias Políticas y Sociales, Vol. 64: No. 236, pp. 49-82.

Labarca, J.T. (2017). For Those Who Want a Forward-Thinking Popular Government'. New Political Practices in the Presidential Campaign of the Chilean Christian Democracy, 1962-1964. Latin American Research Review, Vol.52: No.1, 50-63. (In Spanish).

Labarca, J.T. (2016). Cooperatives as Public Policy: Rural Electrification in Chile, 1940-1970. European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, No. 102, 27-46. (In Spanish).

Labarca, J.T. (2016). The 'Short Cycle' of the Chilean Student Movement: Sectoral Conflict or Systemic Questioning?. Revista Mexicana de Sociología, Vol.78, Nº4, 605-632. (In Spanish).

Labarca, J.T. (2016). Cooperatives and the Subsidiary State in Post-Dictatorship Chile, 1990-2015. Revista Idelcoop, No. 218, 135-153. (In Spanish).

Book Chapters

Labarca, J.T., & Biehl, A. (2021). Fiscal Sociology of Chile, 1932-1973: State of Compromise? . In Atria, J. and Otero, C. (eds.), Fair Taxes in Chile: Challenges and Proposals for a New Fiscal Pact. Fondo de Cultura Económica, pp. 177-202. (In Spanish)

Biehl, A., & Labarca, J.T. (2018). Global Uncertainty in the Evolution of Latin American Income Taxes. In Atria, J., Groll, C. and Valdes, M. F. (eds.), Rethinking Taxation in Latin America: Reform and Challenges in Times of Uncertainty. Latin American Political Economy. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 89-122.

Isaac Newton Trust Academic Career Development Fellow

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