democracy

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 [...]

Basque terrorist group ETA disbands after 60 years

It has been a long time coming, but finally the Basque separatist group ETA has dissolved itself, ending one of the longest terrorism campaigns in modern Europe with the loss of 854 lives, thousands injured and 79 kidnappings. The move, however, is far from healing the deep wounds among [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega The decline of the West, 1918-2018

This summer will mark the centenary of the appearance of the first volume of Oswald Spengler’s influential The Decline of the West (Der Untergang des Abendlandes), first published in 1918, when the First World War was in its death throes prior to the November armistice. One hundred years later [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Psychographic advertising: the global battle to sway minds

It’s nothing new. Much indeed was known or suspected: specifically, that by using data from social media it is possible to send and personalise messages –true and otherwise– to reach many millions of individual users (who, even if pseudonymous, are real) or groups of them. Using Facebook data this [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Democracies on the back foot

Democracies are on the defence. In its recent National Security Strategy, the Trump Administration –advocating ‘a return to a principled realism’– fails to mention promoting democracy and human rights beyond US borders, although it does refer to ‘our community of like-minded-democratic states’. The EU has its own democracy problems [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Social media and democracy: Trump harnessed the power of algorithms

The US presidential elections have shown that democracy has changed, and the means of obtaining victory, too. Hillary Clinton’s team (despite winning the popular vote) erred. It spent more than US$200 million on TV advertising, twice what Donald Trump spent. Clinton also spent US$30 million on the social media [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Illiberal demagoguery splits Europe at the seams

Some of the EU’s poorly sewn seams are splitting. The rift between North and South, or between creditors and debtors, is still there and has been fully solved following the agreement with Greece. The possibility of a Brexit, with the UK breaking away, is quite real. But the greatest [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Can China become a democracy?

Hong Kong’s students have shaken a world that is right now far from needing a crisis in China, despite the protesters have awakened sympathies in the West. The crisis in Hong Kong has not fizzled out and the embers of demands for constitutional change and democracy remain and perhaps [...]

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