Global Spectator

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

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Praise for the whistleblower

The fact that Donald Trump finds himself in dire straits and facing possible impeachment proceedings is due to a public servant filing an internal complaint that the President had used foreign policy against a political opponent. There has also been a subsequent attempt at a cover-up. In Washington, scandals [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega 1989, 30 years on: from the Iron Curtain to digital curtains

The night of 8 November 1989, 30 years ago, witnessed not only the breaching of a wall, the Berlin Wall (a key element of the Iron curtain), but also the birth of a hope, the hope that freedom and democracy would flourish. Not long afterwards the Soviet Union collapsed, [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Trump first, America less

More than three decades ago the political scientist Robert Putnam developed a theory of conflict, based on game theory, involving ‘two levels’, the foreign or international level, and the domestic level: in order to broker agreements, negotiators have to reach a winning consensus among all the players on the [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Trump thrives on polarisation

The US may end losing a President if the investigation launched by the Democrats in the House of Representatives leads to an impeachment, although such an outcome would be unlikely owing to the Republican majority in the Senate. What it has certainly lost, and for some time now, is [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Election-free changes

In a matter of months, three major European countries have coincidentally seen changes of leadership and political direction without elections being held: the UK has witnessed Boris Johnson’s ascent with a promise of Brexit at any cost, by contrast to what was agreed with Brussels by his predecessor, Theresa [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega The US versus China: the names of things

The names of things, of concepts, are important and by no means neutral, reflecting instead differences of analysis and various policy options. The US is engaged in redesigning its policy towards China –although it is still not clear what the Trump Administration is after– and Beijing is responding. What [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, 80 years on

The 23rd of August marks the 80th anniversary of what was perceived to be ignominious to much of the world: the non-aggression pact and the secret carving up of part of Europe between Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union. Many saw and still see it as a purely tactical [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega The EU’s strange institutional renewal

Europe, the EU, is not doing as badly as is often claimed. But institutional imbalances are emerging that may trigger a crisis. The turnout for the elections to the European Parliament was 51%, eight percentage points higher than last time, halting a steady decline since 1979, thanks in part [...]

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