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  • Author: Richard Higgott
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Elcano Royal Institute
  • Abstract: This paper is an analysis of the discursive practices of the international economic policy of the Administration of President Donald Trump, writ large. Within this conceptual context it offers an empirical case study of the US-China relationship across the spectrum, from tariff conflict through to the growing struggle for control of the 21st century high-technology industries. The argument is that the Trump Administration utilises the discursive practices of what some scholars call ‘securitisation’ (Buzan et al., 1998) through to what might more appropriately be described as a discourse of ‘economic warfare’. The paper is in four parts. Part 1 provides a brief discussion of the changing historical and international context of the study. Part 2 provides a conceptual discussion of the discursive practices of securitisation, economic statecraft and economic warfare on the one hand and the theory of international trade captured in the idea of the rise and fall of mercantilism and its re-emergence in the international economic agenda of the Trump Administration on the other. Part 3 looks at these concepts as they pertain to current US international economic policy. Part 4 concentrates on US policy towards China particularly. The paper concludes with some reflections on the success or otherwise of contemporary US policy
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Pedro Serrano de Haro
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Elcano Royal Institute
  • Abstract: After an overview of external challenges, this paper will describe some of the main initiatives developed by the EU in the field of security and defence during the last three years and how this has led to a stronger engagement with key international partners. It will conclude with some reflections regarding the value of the EU as a platform for cooperation to face global challenges and on strategic autonomy.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Charles Powell
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Elcano Royal Institute
  • Abstract: This paper briefly analyses the attempted coup d’état carried out in Spain in February 1981 and the trial that was held in its aftermath, with a view to extracting possible lessons that might prove useful to those currently engaged in post-coup justice in Turkey.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Alina Averchenkova
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Elcano Royal Institute
  • Abstract: The objective of this working paper is to inform policy experts, legislators and decisionmakers on the recent trends in climate change policy-making around the world and to draw lessons learnt from the experiences with designing and implementing climate change legislation. The study in particular aims to contribute to the current debate in Spain on a draft climate change and energy transition law, as well as aid other countries currently working on climate legislation.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Piotr Maciej Kaczyński
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Elcano Royal Institute
  • Abstract: What is Poland’s position in the EU in the context of the political and economic developments under the Law and Justice government? Since 2015 the one-party government in Poland has engaged in a policy of a radical change. A set of various reforms have been implemented, some of them highly controversial, such as the reform process in the judiciary. The judicial reforms –or ‘take over’– put the Warsaw government on a collision course with the EU institutions over the rule of law. This paper analyses three aspects of the Polish-EU relationship: (1) the state of the rule of law; (2) the economic challenges; and (3) the political position of Poland among EU member states
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Mario Esteban
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Elcano Royal Institute
  • Abstract: This working paper is the result of a process of collective reflection in which many academics and diplomats –with whom I have had extraordinarily fruitful conversations in Brussels, Madrid, Pyongyang and Seoul– have participated. The contributions of those who responded to the policy Delphi that we launched in the spring of 2018, and of the participants in the seminar that we organised at the Brussels office of the Elcano Royal Institute on 5 October 2018, were especially valuable. I would therefore like to explicitly thank Alexander Zhebin, Axel Berkofsky, Bartosz Wisniewski, Charles Powell, Eric Ballbach, Félix Arteaga, Françoise Nicolas, Hideshi Tokuchi, Hiro Akutsu, John Nilsson-Wright, Kim Songyong, Lee Dongmin, Liu Qing, Luis Simón, Michael Paul, Mikael Weissman, Niklas Swanström, Ramón Pacheco, Shin Beomchul and Tariq Rauf for their contributions. I would also like to acknowledge the work of Elisa Lledó in organising the seminar and of Virginia Crespi de Valldaura in helping to prepare this paper.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Luis Simon
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Elcano Royal Institute
  • Abstract: Europeans and Japanese are often described as ‘natural’ partners. As liberal democracies, market economies and close allies of the US, they have similar world views and share many interests. They also have a long history of cooperation, whose foundations go back to Japan’s embracing of modernisation and industrialisation in the late 19th century along European lines
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: William Chislett
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Elcano Royal Institute
  • Abstract: Whichever way one looks at it, Spain has been profoundly transformed since the 1978 democratic Constitution that sealed the end of the 1939-75 dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, the victor of the three-year Civil War. Be it economically with, for example, the creation of significant number of multinationals or the world’s second-largest tourism industry in terms of visitors (81.8 million in 2017), politically with a vibrant democracy that ranks high in classifications, socially with the greatly improved status of women or in foreign policy –where Spain has reclaimed its place on the international stage–, the country bears no resemblance to what it was like 40 years ago. Over the period, per capita income at purchasing power parity increased fivefold and life expectancy at birth rose by almost 10 years. All the more remarkable is that the transition, guided by King Juan Carlos I, was achieved in the face of considerable adversity. It was not guaranteed from the outset to be successful: the Basque terrorist group ETA killed an average of 50 people a year in the first decade of democracy (and mounted assassination attempts in 1995 on both the King and the Prime Minister, José María Aznar), and Francoist officers staged a coup in 1981 in an attempt to turn back the clock. The economy, which was entering a period of recession, galloping inflation and rising unemployment, was also subjected to unprecedented competition after decades of protectionism. In the first three months of 1976 there were 17,731 cases of industrial action alone. Today’s problems, such as the very high jobless rate, particularly among young adults, acute income inequality, increased social exclusion, the illegal push for independence in Catalonia and corruption in the political class do not detract from the fact that Spain has enjoyed an unprecedented period of prosperity and stability over the past 40 years. Spain has achieved conditions that are similar –in some cases better– than in the rest of Western European nations, disproving the theory, still beloved in some quarters, of the country’s ‘exceptional nature’ or ‘anomaly’.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Antonio Estella
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Elcano Royal Institute
  • Abstract: In 2008 I published a paper on ‘EU scenarios for 2017’ (Estella, 2008). It was written over the course of 2007, discussed in different economic, legal and political circuits, and finally published by the Elcano Royal Institute a year later. The report was motivated by the discussion on the future of the EU that started that year with the establishment by the European Council of 14 December 2007 of the so-called ‘González’ reflection group. The group, chaired by the former Spanish Prime Minister Felipe González, started work at the beginning of 2008 and delivered its final report in 2010 (European Council, 2010). The aim of my 2008 report was to try to ascertain where the EU would be in 2017, and why it would be there.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Pablo José Castillo Ortiz
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Elcano Royal Institute
  • Abstract: The EU has been a key actor in the democratisation of the European continent and in the protection of the culture of human rights in Europe. To do so, the EU has used strategies and tools such as linkage action vis-a-vis third countries, democratic conditionality for accession to the Union and other forms of leverage, functional cooperation with third countries, the creation of the rule-of-law mechanism and the enactment of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus