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 demolition of Rodrik’s trilemma

In his book The Globalization Paradox, published in 2011, the Harvard Professor Dani Rodrik formulated his famous trilemma: it is impossible to attain economic hyperglobalisation, national sovereignty and democracy simultaneously, because only two of these things can be achieved at any one time. The sides of the triangle must [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Trump vs. NATO? Appearances and realities

Coming hard on the heels of the G7 in Quebec, and featuring largely the same cast, is the NATO summit in Brussels. At the unveiling of the organisation’s new headquarters slightly over a year ago, Donald Trump cast doubt on Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, which spells out [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Russia 2018: a geopolitical World Cup

The FIFA World Cup in Russia, the sporting event with the largest TV audience, is helping to overcome the Putin regime’s international isolation, at least in the West. This is what the President was hoping for, with the second large-scale global event of this kind in Russia in the [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Trade wars and conflict of perceptions

When China joined the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 2001, it was still a developing country. More than 15 years later, its circumstances have changed and it has turned into the world’s second-largest economy. The WTO has served not to discipline China, which is what Trump (and to some [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Spain is not Italy

The two countries are often yoked together, particularly in more northerly latitudes and in the British and US press. But Italy –which boasts a fine Ambassador in Madrid, Stefano Sannino– and Spain are not only highly different, if anything they have become more so. This has become even more [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Religion’s waning influence in Western Europe

Two Irish Roman Catholic archbishops, the Primate of All Ireland, Eamon Martin, and Diarmuid Martin, the Archbishop of Dublin, have said that the vote to legalise abortion reflects the waning influence of the Roman Catholic Church in that country. Ireland is coming into line with the rest of Western [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Digital sovereignty

The debate about sovereignty has entered the digital realm. At root, sovereignty involves control of one’s own destiny. The Chinese Premier Xi Jinping refers to it when he talks of his goal, announced as long ago as 2015, of turning China into a “cyber superpower”, a “national power in [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Scotland and London: a constitutional crisis over Brexit?

Last week the Scottish parliament in Holyrood rejected the Brexit or European Union Withdrawal Bill, drawn up by the Theresa May’s Conservative government. And it did so with the support of the ruling SNP, the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish Greens, in other words, everyone bar [...]
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