Yearly Archive: 2020

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega The virus war with China

In 2003, when SARS emerged, the US and other countries cooperated with China from the outset, enabling the epidemic to be brought under control. In 2020 not only has there been no such initial cooperation on COVID-19, but the way in which China covered up the first cases and [...]

A look at the geopolitics of the European Green Deal

Over the last few years, climate change diplomacy captured the attention of policymakers and made the case for a low carbon energy transition. Countries have taken some measures to reduce emissions and to adapt to the impacts of climate change, even if these fall short of what is required [...]

COVID-19 in Spain: tentatively moving toward a ‘new normality’

The COVID-19 toll in Spain is one of the highest in the world –more than 217,000 diagnosed cases, around 20% of them frontline health workers in hospitals and care homes and some 2,000 military personnel, and over 25,000 deaths. Now that the trend is finally downward, the government is [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Russian bots: plenty of interference, but little influence?

A host of studies report the growth of misinformation –from various sources– and fake news disseminated through social media and other means of transmission. But fewer focus on its real impact, something that could be less significant than supposed. Ultimately, Russian, Chinese and other bots may lead to a [...]

Digital truce at times of post-crisis

Digital dividends co-exist with digital divides. Critical junctures reveal at what extent the scope, spread and speed of those Global Commons which are not merely up to States are likely to produce a significant turn. In the case of the current coronavirus crisis, cyberspace and complex digital-based world are [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega General assured weakness: a world with less power

Global geopolitical rivalry persists, although under new guises, subsumed by the general COVID-19 crisis. But this very crisis means that all the great powers, and unions of powers like the EU, and international organisations –such as the largely absent UN (the WHO being an exception)– are now weaker than [...]

Coronavirus in Spain: time to revamp the Moncloa Pacts

In times of profound crisis, countries can pull together and revive morale by political parties burying their differences and agreeing a set of measures and implementing them with or without a coalition government. This was the case, for example, of the UK during World War Two when a Conservative [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Infodemic and mediademic

Amid the coronavirus crisis there is also an overload of information, something that the Director General of the World Health Organisation described at the beginning of February as an ‘infodemic’, a glut of misinformation deriving from various sources –there is never any shortage of troublemakers, whether motivated by their [...]

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