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[Josep Piqué. The world that is coming to us. Challenges, Challenges and Expectations of the 21st Century: A Post-Western World with Western Values? Deusto. Barcelona, 2018. 254 pp.]
review / Ignacio Yárnoz
Europe may lose relative economic weight or, worse, demographic weight and competitiveness, putting the sustainability of its welfare state at risk. It may become less and less relevant on the global geopolitical stage and move away from the planet's new center of gravity. However, it remains an indisputable pole of attraction for the rest of humanity due to its peace, democracy, freedom, gender equality and opportunities, tolerance and respect. This is what the author Josep Piqué wants to convey to us in The World That Comes to Us. We are talking about an economist, businessman and political leader – head of several ministries, including Foreign Affairs, during the government of José María Aznar – who has experienced first-hand the transition from a Eurocentric world to one that looks more to a thriving Asia.
The work turns out to be a good geopolitical analysis of the world, in which a fragmented European Union, a very thriving China, a Russia nostalgic for its imperial past, a Middle East divided in wars between irreconcilable factions and an Anglo-Saxon world withdrawn into itself stand out. I divide it into different chapters depending on the area geographically, the book takes an in-depth look at each and every topic.
First of all, the author emphasizes the status that the Anglo-Saxon world is experiencing, especially the United States and the United Kingdom, countries that have renounced their world hegemony for the sake of a retreat into themselves. In the case of the United Kingdom, we talk about the divorce from the European Union, and in the case of the United States, we talk about President Donald Trump's policies, such as the withdrawal of the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) with Japan, Chile, Canada, Australia, Brunei, New Zealand, Mexico, Peru, Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore. Paradoxically, in the face of the attitude of these two actors, there is the rise as a power of a China that no longer dissembles in its actions, that no longer wants to be that silent power that Deng Xiaoping formulated.
Russia and its actions abroad are also subject to analysis from different perspectives, but mainly in light of Russia's obsession with its security. As the author argues, it is a state that is very sensitive to its borders and tries to keep the enemy poles as far apart as possible, which implies a policy of influence in the states bordering its border. This explains their reactions to the change of sides of the Eastern European countries and their gradual incorporation into the European Union or NATO. Nor can we forget the topic of gas, the implications of the melting of the Arctic, the oil deposits in the Caspian Sea or other issues that the author reviews.
If we look at the picture in the Middle East, the status It does not seem to be reaching a lasting peace. Neither in the panorama of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, nor in the different proxy wars between Iran and Saudi Arabia, not to mention the failure of the different Arab Springs. This status It leads the author to analyze in historical perspective how all this has happened. On the other hand, it analyzes the complexity of the different intersecting interests between Turkey, Syria, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Iran that complete the chessboard represented by the Middle East.
Finally, we must not forget the chapter that Josep Piqué reservation for your thesis at the beginning of this article. article: the future of the European Union. As he himself points out, Europe represents the neo-Western synthesis in a post-Western world. However, you need to realize this potential and benefit from it. As Piqué argues, the attractiveness of the European Union as much as project inclusive as well as the liberal and democratic values it represents must be a card that the EU must play more in its favour. However, it also faces challenges such as the rise of nationalism and anti-Europeanism, Russian interference in internal affairs and the lack of credibility of the European institutions. All of this in the framework of the severe economic recession of 2007, which the author also analyzes as a good economist of degree program. Finally, we must not forget some final notes dedicated to the implications of new technologies, Latin America and the opportunities that Spain has.
All of this together represents a complete journey through the world of geostrategy – in the review of the regions of the planet, only one is missing. accredited specialization to Africa – which details all the keys that a person with an interest in international relations should take into account when analysing current affairs.