Global Spectator

«Global Spectator» is a weekly contribution on current international affairs by Andrés Ortega for the Elcano Blog.

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega The nostalgic

Is nostalgia something negative? Not necessarily. But in our time, even more so than in earlier times, it is very easy to manipulate politically. Remembering times past, said Marcel Proust, does not mean remembering times as they were in the past. The past also reinvents itself because, as Antonio [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega When China catches a cold, the world shudders

‘Quand la Chine s’éveillera, le monde tremblera’ (‘When China awakes, the world will tremble’), said Napoleon Bonaparte. It awoke some time ago and the rest of the world, especially the part that can no longer perhaps be referred to as the West, far from trembling, has sought to benefit [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega An EU fund for adapting to the technological revolution

Technological transformations of all kinds, but especially artificial intelligence (AI), so closely linked as it is to automation, raise the prospect of doing things that could never have been done before, and doing other things better, but could lead to –indeed are leading to– serious disruptions in the job [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Destabilising the Middle East by absence

It has never, at least since the fall of the Ottoman Empire, been stable. Instability is endemic to the Middle East, a region that suffers, as many have pointed out, from a surfeit of history, although new layers continue to be added. Relative stability has come from outside in [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Politics is incapable of solving Brexit

Brexit was an essentially political issue, but British politics is incapable of resolving it. Not just the withdrawal agreement, which has an uncertain fate, but what will come next. And it is incapable because the two largest parties, Conservatives and Labour, are deeply divided one from the other and [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Globalisation 4.0: people-centred

Globalisation and the technological revolution go hand-in-hand, in a way that is now inseparable. But they both need to revolve around human beings, thereby becoming more inclusive, reconnecting the rhythm of the economy with the rhythm of society, or at least some societies. In other words, they need to [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega ‘Yellow vests’: the first rebellion against the ecological transition

The relatively modest but nevertheless paralysing movement of the gilets jaunes, or ‘yellow vests’, has caught France, and French politics, off guard. It could be argued that it is Europe’s first rebellion against the ecological transition, to an economy free of fossil fuels, with the EU heralding the beginning [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega The young have more sway in the US than in Europe

A significant number of young people seem to have mobilised against Trump in the US mid-term elections held on 6 November, which swept the Democrats to power in the House of Representatives although the Republicans retained their majority in the Senate. Elsewhere, contrary to what was initially claimed, young [...]

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