Global Spectator

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

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Catalonia: the external dimension to the fore

The attempt to hold an independence referendum in Catalonia has been the focus of a good deal of Spanish foreign policy in recent months. The external dimension of the conflict –and what it could bring in its wake– is something that its proponents have tried to exploit, without any [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega ‘Dictabasura’ in Venezuela

Chavism, now in its advanced (or retrograde?) phase of ‘Maduroism’, has destroyed a country. It attained power through the ballot box (preceded by Hugo Chávez’s attempted coup) with a mandate to ensure a fairer distribution of the nation’s wealth and to do away with the corruption of the previous [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega The painful coexistence with Jihadi terrorism

It cannot be defeated in the sense that the terrorism of ETA has been defeated, or the way the IRA and others have been beaten. Even in these cases the fight was protracted. With the Jihadists the struggle might take decades, or longer still since they refuse to entertain [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Europe has missed the boat as far as major Internet platforms are concerned; other opportunities remain

Europe has missed a vitally important boat, namely the major technology platforms that started to emerge in the 1990s. But it is still well-placed to launch some of their successors. Haydn Shaughnessy, author of Platform Disruption Wave: A New Theory of Disruption and the Eclipse of American Power, argues [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Averting an ISIS 2.0

Mosul, where Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed the Islamic State (IS, otherwise known as ISIS or Daesh) as a caliphate in 2014 has almost fallen after nine months of fierce fighting. The recapture of Raqqa, the IS capital in Syria, is only a matter of time following the offensive by [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega From the G20 to the G-Zero: global governance without Trump?

With his hostile stance on the Paris climate change agreement, Trump subverted the G7 (which had already thrown out Russia). His nationalist and protectionist “America First” posture in Hamburg did not paralyse the G20, but it did to a large extent render it hollow, despite the lengthy list of [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega The destabilising effect of cheap oil

The low cost of oil may come as an ongoing relief to many economies, such as Spain’s, but it is creating political and social volatility in numerous producer countries, both among Spain’s neighbours and further afield, reliant as they are on the income from oil to maintain their youthful [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Brexit and Trump as vaccination: four decisive years for the EU

Both Brexit and Donald Trump’s election have mutated from appearing to be a form of divisive virus –that could spread– into becoming something akin to a vaccine for the EU and its members states. But its effects are likely to endure only for a limited period of time: following [...]
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