The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the liberal international order and the future of Europe: a view from Madrid

The essays included in this volume highlight the new dilemmas arising from the tectonic shifts in world geopolitics that the Western community of values has to face now and in the years to come, considering the impact of accumulated security risks caused by growing uncertainties, imbalances, disruptive technologies, emergence of new forms of hybrid and information warfare short of outright armed confrontation, spill‑over of military competition in outer space and cyberspace, and instances of unlawful behaviour by some major international actors such as Russia and China. The accelerated pace of change emphasises the distinction between enablers and spoilers in international affairs, while the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic has added a new layer of concern as a real and present security threat on a global scale.

The New Strategy Center of Romania launches its book: 'Post-Pandemic World. Perspectives on Foreign and Security Policy'

The event was organized as a debate, and was moderated by Ambassador Sergiu Celac and Dr. Olivia Toderean, two of the editors of this volume. Several of the authors took part, including Ambassador Sorin Ducaru, Director of the EU Satellite Center and Honorary Chairman of the Scientific Council of the New Strategy Center, Dr. Antonia Colibășanu, analyst at Geopolitical Futures, Dr. Charles Powell, Director of the Elcano Royal Institute (Spain), Dr. Adam Eberhardt, Director of the Centre for Eastern Studies – OSW (Poland), Dr. Harlan Ullman, Senior Advisor at the Atlantic Council (US), and Dr. Karsten Friis, Head of Research Group on Security and Defense at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (Norway).

Debates Elcano 'How will Biden change US foreign policy?'

Joe Biden will presumably become the 46th president of the United States on 20 January 2021. Many experts are predicting that he will initially be dedicating much of his time and energy to domestic matters, and in particular, with providing answers to the many challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, however, he is widely expected to implement significant changes to US foreign policy, though their precise nature and significance are not always easy to predict. Many in Europe would no doubt like to see the new administration renew America’s traditional commitment to multilateralism, a strong transatlantic relationship, and European integration. The world has changed significantly since 2016, however, and it remains to be seen whether this will indeed be the case.

Daniel S. Hamilton, Distinguished Fellow and Director of the Global Europe Program, Woodrow Wilson International Center.
Heather Conley, Senior Vice President for Europe, Eurasia, and the Arctic, CSIS.
Jeffrey H. Michaels, IEN Senior Fellow, Barcelona Institute of International Studies.
Carlota Encina García, Senior Analyst, Elcano Royal Institute.

Moderator: Charles Powell, Director, Elcano Royal Institute.

Debates Elcano 'US elections: who votes, what and why'

In November, Americans will be casting their ballot amid turmoil and uncertainty, with an economy reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic, growing tension over race relations, and in the aftermath of record-breaking climate disasters. Voters are already turning out in large numbers to choose between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Jose Biden, in what many are describing as the country’s most polarized election ever.

Workshop: 'Foreign Policy Implications of the 2020 US Presidential Election'

This online workshop analyzed the upcoming US Presidential Election, its implications for the future of American foreign policy, and the international challenges and opportunities that will likely arise depending on the winner. To gain a useful perspective on these issues, we bring together a group of distinguished international scholars to discuss the ability of a new or second-term president to radically change US foreign policy, what the foreign policy agendas and experience of the two candidates can tell us about the direction and priorities of the next administration, as well as the likely European reactions to a Trump or Biden victory.

Adolfo Suárez Memorial Debate: 'Iberoamerican Perceptions of the Future World Order'

The Institute for Political Studies of the Catholic University of Portugal organized the 28th edition of the Estoril Political Forum, whose theme this year was ‘New Authoritarian Challenges to Liberal Democracy’. Charles Powell, director of the Elcano Royal Institute, co-hosted the Adolfo Suárez Memorial Debate, in which speakers addressed Spanish and Latin American perceptions of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the future of the liberal international order.

'Democracia liberal e multilateralismo debaixo de fogo'


As Conferências de Lisboa são um evento internacional de periodicidade bienal, que promovem o debate sobre as mudanças globais e o desenvolvimento.

International aspects of democratization: revisiting the Spanish case

What role did external actors play in Spain’s transition to democracy?

Article in Antonis Klapsis, Constantine Arvanitopoulos, Evanthis Hatzivassiliou and Effie G. H. Pedaliu (eds.), The Greek Junta and the international system. A case study of South European dictatorships, 1967-74 (Routledge, London, 2020)

Debate 'How to fix the (global) economy post-COVID-19?'

Tensions in liberal democracies were already high before Covid-19 emerged. Inequality, economic anxiety, populism, political polarisation, protectionism, cultural wars, and geopolitical rivalry were tearing the social fabric apart. The pandemic is likely to strengthen even further these tensions. Indeed, Globalisation is seriously under threat. Martin Sandbu, economics commentator at the Financial Times, has been analysing these trends in depth on a weekly bases over the past years and has come up with a number of proposals to establish a new social contract, which can underpin again the liberal order. His latest book is called The Economics of Belonging. In this public event he discussed some of his ideas with Miguel Otero, senior analyst at Elcano.

'Spanish vs Dutch views on the EU Recovery Fund'

‘The Netherlands and Spain are at opposite ends of the debate about the EU’s recovery package. But they must realise they are in the same boat’.

2022 © Charles Powell