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[Josep Piqué. The world that is coming. Challenges, challenges and expectations of the 21st century: a post-western world with western values? Deusto. Barcelona, 2018. 254 pp]

review / Ignacio Yárnoz

The World to Come. Challenges, challenges and expectations of the 21st century: a post-Western world with Western values?

Europe may lose relative economic weight or, even worse, demographic weight and competitiveness, jeopardizing the sustainability of its welfare state. 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 undisputed 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 wishes to convey in El mundo que nos viene. 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 firsthand the transition from a Eurocentric world to one that looks more to a thriving Asia.

The book is a good geopolitical analysis of the world, highlighting a fragmented European Union, a very strong 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nostalgic for its imperial past, a Middle East divided in wars between irreconcilable factions and an Anglo-Saxon world withdrawn into itself. Divided into different chapters depending on the geographical area , the book analyzes in depth each and every one of the topics.

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 speak of the divorce with the European Union and in the case of the United States we speak of the policies of President Donald Trump, 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 conceals its actions, that no longer wants to be the silent power that Deng Xiaoping formulated.

Russia and its actions abroad are also analyzed from different perspectives, but mainly taking into account 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 away as possible, which implies a policy of influence on the states adjacent to its border. This explains its reactions to the change of side of the Eastern European countries and their gradual incorporation into the European Union or NATO. Nor can we forget the gas topic , the implications of the melting of the Arctic ice, the oil fields in the Caspian Sea or other issues that the author reviews.

If we look at the situation in the Middle East, the status does not seem to be leading to a lasting peace. Neither in the panorama of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, nor in the different proxy wars between Iran and Saudi Arabia, without forgetting the failure of the different Arab Springs. This status leads the author to analyze in historical perspective how all this has happened. On the other hand, he analyzes the complexity of the different cross interests between Turkey, Syria, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Iran that complete the chessboard that represents the Middle East.

Finally, we should not forget the chapter that Josep Piqué reservation for his main thesis formulated at the beginning of this article: the future of the European Union. As he himself points out, Europe represents the neo-Western synthesis in a post-Western world. However, it must realize this potential and benefit from it. As Piqué argues, the attractiveness of the European Union both as an integrator project and for the liberal and democratic values it represents should be a card that the EU should play more in its favor. However, it also faces challenges such as the rise of nationalism and anti-Europeanism, Russian interference in internal affairs or the lack of credibility of European institutions. All this in the framework of the strong economic recession of 2007 that the author also analyzes as a good economist of degree program. Finally, we should not forget some final notes dedicated to the implications of new technologies, Latin America and the opportunities that Spain has.

All this together represents a complete journey through the world of geostrategy - in the review of the regions of the planet only a accredited specialization to Africa is missing -, in which all the keys that a person with an interest in the International Office should take into account when analyzing the current situation are detailed.

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