Realism

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 presence is neither good, nor bad

It is often assumed that it is a good thing for countries to be ranked in the top positions of Elcano Global Presence Index; that is, to be highly present, globally. However, we think otherwise (this is neither a good, nor a bad thing) and always insist on two [...]

Kennan’s ‘long telegram’: reflections from the past and the present

On 22 February 1946 George F. Kennan, chargé d’affaires at the US embassy in Moscow, sent Washington a memorandum known as the ‘long telegram’, which was 5,000 words in length. A recapitulation of this document, The Sources of Soviet Conduct, written by the selfsame Kennan under the pseudonym of [...]

Financial crises and flushing toilets

Last week I was at the International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Convention in New Orleans (Louisiana). The ISA is the most important gathering of International Relations (IR) and International Political Economy (IPE) scholars in the world. Usually there are thousands of delegates and hundreds of panels, and this time [...]

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