Global Spectator

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

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 [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega The dangerous politics of humiliation

One of the expressions that has cropped up in various analyses of Donald Trump’s foreign policy is ‘humiliation’, whether in the context of Mexico, Iran, Europe, the UN or even for a period North Korea, although his meeting with Kim Jong-un, scheduled for 12 June in Singapore, represents a [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega The best of all possible worlds

‘The best of all possible worlds’ is a simplistic expression stemming from the philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz’s complex 1710 Essays of Theodicy. Voltaire lampooned it, its idea of evil and its alleged optimism in Candide, in which he had his character Pangloss declare that ‘all is for the best [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Macron, Merkel and the new European sovereignties

As things stand the only person who is en marche in the run-up to the elections for the European Parliament in May 2019, with a platform calling for considerably more Europe, is the French President Emmanuel Macron. He had hoped that Angela Merkel would accompany him on this journey, [...]
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