Global Spectator

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

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Globalisation reimagined

COVID-19 is driving a form of deglobalisation –or arguably a new globalisation– that in certain respects had already started before the pandemic broke out, with the crisis that began in 2008. As Carmen Reinhart, now the Chief Economist at the World Bank, and Vincent Reinhart point out, growth in [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega A pandemic without moral authorities

The pandemic has been characterised by a notable lack not only of political but also international and even Western moral authorities, of prominent figures –whether leaders in their own fields or intellectuals– to act as beacons of light. Pope Francis from the perspective of Roman Catholicism for example, and [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega The TikTok war

The geo-technological fallout from the TikTok war goes much further than the possible impact of the bans that are starting to be imposed on the app, which is used to exchange short videos and is owned by Chinese capital. The ban, first in India, and possibly to be followed [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Multilateralism has lost its way

‘Freedom, for what?’ Lenin asked Fernando de los Ríos. ‘Freedom to be free’, the professor of political law and leading Spanish socialist in the 1920s and 30s rightly replied. ‘Multilateralism, for what?’ might be the question today. And the reply cannot simply be ‘to be multilateral’, as some would [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Trump and ‘his’ working class

Trump probably did not expect to win in November 2016, but he undoubtedly tried and succeeded in a well-crafted campaign and it remains to be seen whether he can repeat the feat this coming November against the backdrop of the coronavirus crisis. An indication of his not being particularly [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega To space, in private transport

While humanity has been convulsed on Earth by coronavirus and the protest against racism in the US has gone global, for the first time a private US company, SpaceX, on 30 May put into orbit –and the following day delivered two astronauts to– the International Space Station (ISS), a [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Silicon Valley, in remote mode

With the fight against the coronavirus pandemic obliging them to work remotely, many Silicon Valley companies, both large and small, have told their employees not only to do so from home but have announced that this situation could persist indefinitely. It may lead to a cultural shift in which [...]

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 [...]

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