Global Spectator

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

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega The alliance for democracy must start at home

For some years now democracies in general have experienced tough times, and the best illustration is Donald Trump’s attempt to cling on to the White House despite having lost the election to Joe Biden. The insurrection, involving a brutal assault on the Capitol by a mob incited by Trump [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Four years on: the world has changed for Biden (and for everyone)

Joe Biden has a long track record in foreign policy, security and intelligence matters with his years in the Senate and eight years serving as Barack Obama’s Vice President. But during the Trump regime the world has changed in various important ways, which the new President will need to [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega The power of resilience

Resilience, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is the ‘capacity to recover quickly from difficulties’ or ‘the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape’. The US National Intelligence Council predicted in a 2017 report that ‘tomorrow’s successful states will probably be those that invest in [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega G20: vacuity and hope

Amid the global pandemic and acute economic crisis that has followed, the G20 has been found wanting. In fact, the G20 –which is a grouping (rather than organisation) of states accounting for two thirds of the world’s population and 85% of its GDP– responded well in 2008-09 to the [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega President Biden and the shadow of Trumpism

Joe Biden has prevailed over Trump the person, but will have to deal with the ghost of Trumpism. Biden has accrued more votes than any other President in history (although the population and the turnout have also of course grown, and in percentage terms he has not exceeded Obama [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega God, arms and law: Biden or Trump, nothing will be as before

For some time it has been possible to portray the Transatlantic divide on the basis of three concepts: God, arms and the law. Now, the breach between them has also become a domestic issue in the US. Formerly Europe was less religious than the US and religion had less [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Ideology also plays a role in relations with China

In the bipolar rivalry between the US and China, where Europe is more of a stage than an actor, the ideological dimension is playing an ever-increasing role. This applies to China, the US (Trump and Biden) and to Europe. The repression of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang and the new [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega QAnon: the religion of conspiracy

No one knows who Q is, but he has engendered a conspiracy movement in the US (accompanied by reflections, or refractions, in Europe that require monitoring) that predates the pandemic but has grown spectacularly amid the lockdowns and the economic and social crises. Is he an individual or a [...]

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