The COVID-19 Pandemic: the end of the International Liberal Order and the Advance of the Authoritarian State in Spain
29 de abril de 2020

International relations today, are marked by change, heterogeneity, and multiple exogenous factors. These factors have given rise to much more complexity in relations, and their analysis by operators, not only in the political but also in the legal field, is characterised by a depth that is difficult to systematise.

After the Cold War, a new era seemed to be beginning. Some even thought they had reached the «end of history» [1]. There is no disupte, however, that an historical cycle is over. We live in a world of which almost everything is unknown, in which each individual is the protagonist and everything runs at forced speeds [2].

During other eras, man walked behind history; after the fall of the Berlin Wall, he is forced to do so in a hurry. Otherwise, he runs the risk of missing the rhythm of events in a precipitous, dependent and complex world, in which proposals occur without giving time to verify their effectiveness. In this confused and highly uncertain situation, eclecticism increases; anything goes and the old is simply rejected.

In this new cycle of power, it is necessary to take into account the space where the States move, which impose themselves on others; in other words, those that are most relevant in geopolitical terms. The States become, precisely, the main subjects in international relations and, despite globalisation, it does not seem that they will cease to be so — in fact, it is the reverse. On the other hand, it is also true that globalisation has “flattened” the world in that it facilitates the communication of ideas and allows the free movement of people and material goods. However, this statement must be qualified, since the political and cultural borders have not been eliminated. They have not even been blurred, but rather the opposite. This proves that the number of countries has not stopped growing after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

From its origin, in the Peace of Westphalia, the nation-State is based on four principles: identity, legitimacy, capacity and purpose. The international order remains at peace when the States recognise and respect these pillars. If these are doubted, conflicts and wars arise.

However, international relations based on the Westphalian model have been altered in recent years, even affecting the State itself, which is no longer the only actor at the international level, having to share this space with Non-Governmental Organizations and companies. This crisis of the State can be attributed to globalisation. Nye [3] understands that this accelerates the diffusion of power, moving it away from governments towards private agents. Furthermore, the advance of the “information revolution” supposes a rupture between social institutions and technology, since the former do not have the capacity to adapt so quickly to the changes brought about by the latter. Changes produced by new technologies have influenced foreign policy (in terms of international relations) away from being a private preserve of governments, meaning less power for the monopoly of the traditional state bureaucracy. In the words of the journalist Esther Dyson, there has been «government disintermediation.”

Given the process of loss of power of the States, it is worth asking whether in the immediate future some of them will completely disappear, especially in depressed areas. This could give way to a terrible reality, with a vacuum of political power and the consequent lack of organisation. The responsibility of the most powerful States will demand that they act in this regard, which will imply going beyond the right of interference. We may be faced with a new form of neo-colonisation, which will develop in the form of a privatisation of unviable states at the hands of the most powerful, even non-state actors [4].

In the near future, the legitimacy of the State will be established in terms of effectiveness. In order to adapt to this “new world,” the Westphalian nation-state must guarantee the minimum conditions necessary to encourage economic, political and social development that corresponds to advanced societies.

I. The international system

Throughout history, any attempt at state planning has led to misery and dictatorship. All the countries that have tried alternative systems to capitalism and the free market have ended up collapsing. From the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) to the current Venezuela, to Cuba, Angola, etc.

Furthermore, one of the characteristics common to these regimes has been the extension of their «revolution» to the rest of the planet. The regime which came closest to achieving goal to date was the USSR. However, «just as there cannot be a State without a society willing and able to sustain it, neither can there be a world State without a willing and able world community to sustain it» [5]. But socialist systems are not the only to attempt global dominance.

One of the constants of the human being lies in his struggle for power. This continuing battle forms the central basis of the realistic theory of international relations. As Bart Lanheer [6] points out, “there is no equality in social reality, but rather inequality. Inequality is truly the reason for the society’s being. If it is admitted that global society necessarily has a structure, the problem of social evolution emerges in a different light. The developing world is not egalitarian but, on the contrary, strongly differentiated. This derives from the inequality of the capacity of social groups, and this unequal capacity is, after all, a biological phenomenon that must be accepted to the extent that it escapes entirely the human will.”

Rafael Calduch himself points out that «any egalitarian claim moves more in the field of utopian desires than in that of human realities» [7]. This acceptance of inequality in the distribution of power has two faces: solidarity and cooperation on the one hand, and domination and conflict on the other.

This disparity is replicated in the field of international relations. If we assume Landheer’s claims, they are structured in an order — or several — created and directed by large powers. According to Mearsheimer, an order is «an organised set of international institutions that help govern interactions between its member states» [8]. These institutions prescribe behaviors that are acceptable, and outlaw those that are not. It is vital to note that the existence of one order — or several — does not translate into peace or stability. Since their creation depends on the approval of large powers, order basically obeys the power’s interests. Despite appearing contradictory, it is one of the reasons Mearsheimer gives for the need for order to exist on the international scene.

According to this author, orders are necessary because they allow the great powers to influence the behavior of less powerful states. An example of is the countries that made up the two blocs during the Cold War [9]. Without the approval of the leading superpower of each of them, none of its members could perform.

However, the opposite argument can be used. Proxy wars have been a common resource of the great powers. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, a proxy war is «a war fought between groups or small countries that represent the interests of other more powerful powers, and that may receive support from them» [10].

Another reason proposed by Mearsheimer lies in the ability of the order to manage interstate relations in a «highly hyperconnected» world. This interaction between countries is not limited solely to the field of economics. Problems such as climate change or health crises «do not need passports to cross borders» [11]. This last case is perfectly exemplified in the current situation of a world entirely subdued by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As noted, the international order that has governed since the end of the Cold War is on the brink of collapse. Some authors argue that the coronavirus crisis may be its end If we accept this thesis, the question that must be asked is which system comes next.

If we attend to Morgenthau, father of the realistic school, “the moral challenge that emanates from Asia is, in essence, the triumph of the moral ideas of the West… it unfolds under the banners of two moral principles: national self-determination and social justice… the West also he taught the Asian peoples that misery and poverty are not curses of God that man must passively accept, but the consequence of human actions ”[12].

Along with the Asian boom, already anticipated by the author in 1985 [13], Morgenthau himself noted the decline of American power. Paradoxically, both the take-off of Asian countries and the decline of American supremacy stem from the success of ideas promoted by the West. However, the strength of Asia — China in particular — does not eliminate doubt concerning the type of order, or orders, that will be configured.

Mearsheimer makes an interesting classification in this regard. According to him, there are three taxonomies of international orders:

1. International orders and limited orders.
2. Typology of international orders: realistic, agnostic and ideological
3. Weak and strong

For a system to be recognised as international, it must include all the great powers. On the other hand, limited orders usually act on a regional level, and are controlled by a single great power; the other would be outside of it.

On the other hand, within international systems, there are three types: realistic, agnostic, and ideological.

The most relevant variable in this distinction is the distribution of power. In bipolar and multipolar systems, the safety dilemma is the leitmotiv. In unipolar systems, on the other hand, the ideology of hegemonic power becomes essential. In other words, a unipolar system will always translate into an ideological international order, while bipolar and multipolar power distributions will tend toward realistic international systems, where competition for power between the great powers constitutes a sine qua non condition [14].

For its part, the only difference between the international ideological and agnostic systems the lies in whether the ideology of the hegemonic power has a universalist spirit. That is, if it has a vocation to spread throughout the world, rendering everywhere a reflection of itself, as in the case of the liberal order that has reigned since the fall of the Berlin Wall until today.

American National Security Strategies (ESN) have placed one point above all since the end of the Cold War: the role of the United States as an indispensable nation for world peace. The 2002 ESNs, written by the Bush Administration, and those published in 2015 under the presidency of Barack Obama are especially revealing. Both documents support the idea that the country’s strength lies in its values ​​and the unity of its society. Both Bush and Obama state in their prologues hat the true power of the United States does not rest on its military or economic power, but on democracy and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, protected in its Constitution; pillars that, in their opinion, are what have made them a great nation.

This common point shows that the vision of both Administrations was based on the global preponderance of the United States [15] — both in its neoconservative (Bush) and liberal (Obama) versions.

The third classification concerns the strength and effectiveness of the institutions that make up the order. If they do not have the capacity to influence the behavior of their Member States, the order will be weak. On the contrary, if they have an impact on the actions of the countries, it will be classified as robust.

From what has been said so far, it seems that the liberal international order in force during the last two decades is decomposing. In fact, the arrival of the Trump Administration to the White House in 2016 has been the final step towards an agnostic international order. The best statement to justify this argument is the motto that the president brought to the Oval Office: America First.

The milestone that marked the end of the golden age of this order was the Russian intervention in Georgia in 2008, preceded by the already historic speech by Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 10, 2007 at the Munich Security Conference.

As with any good reasoning, more unknowns arise. Some include: what order is coming now? How is it going to affect Spain? Is it going to favour an increase in conflict between the States or, on the contrary, improve international cooperation?

In the light of what has been described, the world will be doomed to a realistic multipolar international order, with increasingly weak institutions. In addition, it will coexist with several limited orders, of which the most relevant will be led by the United States and China. This diversity of systems will generate strategic competition between the two countries for hegemony, the famous Thucydices trap.

This international context provides a background for the current COVID-19 pandemic.

II. The West and COVID-19: The advance of the authoritarian state in Spain.

The creation of the liberal international order and the consequences that it has entailed — such as globalisation — have ultimately generated a resurgence of national identities. According to specialists Jeff Colgan and Robert Keohane, «the cumulative effect of such expansions of international authority is to excessively limit sovereignty and give people the feeling that foreign forces are controlling their lives» [16].

This has had two different effects. On the one hand, the target countries for decisions of liberal international institutions have perceived said decisions as mandates coming from foreign powers, which have shielded themselves in the controversial notion of the obligation to protect in order to overlook the principle of non-interference.

On the other hand, the liberal societies of the West have seen their sovereignty reduced by successive assignments to supranational entities, especially in Europe. This has resulted in a sense of estrangement between decision-making elites, fully adapted to the new system, and the societies they supposedly serve. This distancing has led to greater complexity in national political systems, and makes the vital task of accountability more difficult.

In a world where national identity has become relevant again, the libertarian policies of “No Borders” are a sure recipe for creating problems [17]. European societies fall in this scenario. To this situation is now added the aforementioned pandemic.

The crisis that the West is experiencing, Spain in particular, offers some lessons. First, the decoupling of liberalism and democracy. The rise of liberal democracies, unfortunately, has been decreasing since 2006. Authoritarianism is an increasingly attractive alternative.

The situation in Spain in the last month-and-a-half dutifully reflects this authoritarian drift. If there is any situation in which the State must act, this is it. Its greatest good is to protect is the lives of its citizens, regardless of the entity or source of the threat. However, civil society must remain vigilant, since the nature of the State tends to expand, which inexorably reduces the freedom of the individual.

The Government of Spain is using (in a prophetic and conscious way) all the means at its disposal to increase its control over citizens. A clear example of this is the amendment of Law 11/2002, of May 6, regulating the National Intelligence Center (CNI).

This law included parliamentary control over it for the first time. Respecting the autonomy of the Chamber, it estimates that the Government’s Delegated Commission for Intelligence Affairs is in charge of controlling the activities carried out by the CNI “knowing the objectives that have been approved by the Government and an annual report on the degree of compliance with them and of their activities.” These objectives are determined in the Intelligence Directive and include the guidelines that the Government has issued for the CNI.

On the other hand, Article 6 of the aforementioned law regulates the composition and functions of the Delegate Commission, its first section indicating that the function of coordinating the CNI with the rest of the information and intelligence services of the State is the responsibility of the Delegate Commission. It establishes its composition in section 2, which expressly stipulates the following:

«The Commission will be chaired by the Vice President of the Government designated by its President and made up of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Defense, Interior and Economy, as well as the Secretary General of the Presidency, the Secretary of State for Security and the Secretary of State Director of the National Intelligence Center, who will act as Secretary.”

The following functions correspond to the Executive Committee, according to Section 4 of the aforementioned article:

a) Propose to the President of the Government the annual objectives of the National Intelligence Center that are to form the Intelligence Directive.

b) Monitor and evaluate the development of the objectives of the National Intelligence Center.

c) Ensure the coordination of the National Intelligence Center, the information services of the State Security Corps and Forces and the organs of the civil and military Administration.

Not forgoing the previous, the composition of the Government’s Delegated Commission for Intelligence Affairs has been modified by Royal Decree-Law 8/2020, of March 17, on urgent measures to face the economic and social impact of COVID- 19. In its second final provision, the Government alters Section 2 of Article 6 of the aforementioned Law 11/2002, of May 6, regulating the CNI, with the following wording:

«The Commission will be chaired by the Vice President of the Government designated by its President, and composed of the Vice Presidents designated by the President of the Government, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, the European Union and Cooperation, and of Defense, the Minister of the Interior and the Minister of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, as well as by the Director of the Cabinet of the Presidency of the Government, the Secretary of State for Security and the Secretary of State Director of the National Intelligence Center, who will act as Secretary.”

Said modification is not exempt from legal controversy for the following reasons: the first refers to the figure of the Decree-Law used by the Government to modify said article. Although this provisional legislative provision is included in our Magna Carta (ex article 86), its misuse raises a clear case of law fraudulence (Article 6 of the Civil Code). The use of the Decree-Law to incorporate into a single norm very diverse content, forcing the Congress of Deputies to validate or repeal it in its entirety, implies going against the spirit of the law itself, which, in this case, limits the use of legislative provision for cases of «extraordinary and urgent need» (Art. 86.1 of the Spanish Constitution).

With this action, the Government has shown little transparency. Although the promulgation of this Royal Decree does meet the requirements of extraordinary and urgent need, derived from the health crisis caused by COVID-19, not all measures comply with the purpose of the Royal Decree itself: to face the economic and social impact of the pandemic.

Such is the case of the second final provision. The explanation that the Government alleges for the modification is that «the structure of collegiate bodies of the Government would not be in a position to carry out its functions in accordance with the organizational needs currently appreciated by the Presidency of the Government.»

The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, estimates that the inclusion of more vice-presidents in the Government’s Delegated Commission for Intelligence Affairs will allow for a better fulfillment of the functions previously described (Art. 6.4 of Law 11/2002). This motivation seems insufficient in light of the initiatives that the Government has processed to date in relation to the crisis caused by the coronavirus.

One example of this is the Royal Decree 463/2020, of March 14, declaring the state of alarm for the management of the health emergency situation. In its Article 4, the Government is designated as a competent authority; subsequently, in its second section, the article indicates that competent authorities will be delegated, under the highest leadership of the President of the Government:

1. The Secretary of Defense.
2. The Secretary of the Inside.
3. The Secretary of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda.
4. The Secretary of Health.

Next, the third section of the same article, expressly states:

«The Secretaries designated as the competent authorities delegated in this royal decree are empowered to issue the orders, resolutions, provisions and interpretive instructions that, in the specific sphere of their action, are necessary to guarantee the provision of all services, ordinary or extraordinary, in order to protect people, property and places, by adopting any of the measures provided for in article eleven of Organic Law 4/1981, of June 1.

The acts, provisions and measures referred to in the preceding paragraph may be adopted out of office or at the request of the competent regional and local authorities, in accordance with the applicable legislation in each case, and must pay attention to vulnerable people. For this, the processing of any administrative procedure will not be necessary.

This provides the four aforementioned ministers with a higher position hierarchy than the rest of the members of the Government, including the vice-presidents, being only subject to the highest leadership of the Prime Minister.

It seems evident that the president’s «appreciation» of the urgent need to include more vice-presidents in the Delegate Commission does not provide the Secretary of Social Rights and Agenda 2030 — the second vice president, Pablo Iglesias — with the hierarchy of competent authority delegated within the scope of the alarm status decreed by Royal Decree 463/2020. Nor does it provide such position to the Ministry of Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge, headed by Teresa Ribera, fourth vice-president. And, nevertheless, both vice-presidents, under the recent modification, will be able to attend the meetings of the Government Delegate Commission for Intelligence Affairs.

In summary, according to the “appreciation” of the Presidency of the Government, the portfolios held by both vice presidents do not qualify them for the hierarchical rank of a delegated competent authority (and the great margin of action that it entails), but it does result from “extraordinary and urgent necessity ” in the aforementioned Delegated Commission for its proper functioning.

Apart from the fact that the incorporation of more vice-presidents to the Delegate Commission means a greater possibility of information leakage, it is true is that the National Security Office (ONS), the body in charge of the protection of classified information, has published a manual for the information use.

According to this, which is available on the CNI websites, “to access Classified Information it is essential to have a need to know. In addition, to handle Classified Information of a confidential or higher degree, it is essential to be in possession of a Personal Security Clearance (hereafter, PSC). Both are necessary and irreplaceable conditions.”

According to Law 9/68, on April 5, modified by Law 48/78, on October 7, concerning Official Secrets (hereafter, LOS), “matters, acts, documents, information, data and objects whose knowledge by unauthorised persons may harm or put at risk national security and the defense of the State, and which are classified in the categories of secrecy, based on the degree of protection they require.”

The matters subject to internal reservation also require special protection. According to the ONS manual, said matters are defined as “matters, acts, documents, information, data and objects whose knowledge by unauthorised persons may affect the security of the State, threaten their interests, or hinder the fulfillment of their mission. They are classified in the categories of confidential and limited dissemination, based on the degree of protection they require. ”

Consistent with this classification, the degree of PSC required also varies. From highest to lowest, they are: secret (S), reserved (R) and confidential (C). Given that the granting of the PSC is the key to accessing the most sensitive information in the Spanish State, this process includes a risk analysis on the person who will receive it and their environment to identify “the vulnerabilities they display and the threats to which they may be subjected, in order to determine that the degree of risk assumed by enabling it is acceptable to the Kingdom of Spain.” These investigation must verify that there are no risk situations, or reasonable indications of these, typified in the NS/02 Norm on Personnel Security and Personnel Security Qualification. Section 6 of the aforementioned rule, under the heading of «criteria for assessing the suitability of people,” includes the main threats and vulnerabilities that must be considered in determining the loyalty, honesty and reliability of a person for the purpose of concession and maintenance of an PSC. The character aspects and the circumstances that may give rise to possible security risks are, among others, the following:

a) Participation, conspiracy, aid or induction to commit acts of sabotage, espionage, terrorism, treason or sedition.

b) Collaboration or relationship, in an interested or unconscious way, with an intelligence service or a foreign government that may constitute a threat to the security of Spain, NATO, the European Union or its member states or other allies of the Kingdom of Spain. Authorised official relationships are excluded.

c) The association, affiliation, ideological affinity, friendship or complicity with organisations, groups or people that use violent or illegal means to subvert the constitutional order of Spain or its allies.

d) The membership or affinity of the interested party to associations, groups or foundations, whatever their legal form, which could suppose a conflict of loyalties with the protection of classified information.

e) Lack of compliance with the Constitution and the legal system of Spain or the European Union.

f) The association, affiliation, affinity, friendship or complicity with organisations, groups or individuals, whose activities prevent others from exercising their liberties and constitutional rights.

However, possession of PSC is not a sufficient condition for accessing confidential information. The “need to know,” defined by NS/02, “must be accredited as the positive determination confirming that a potential recipient requires access to, knowledge of, or possession of information to perform services, tasks, or official duties. In this way, no person may have access to classified information exclusively by reason of their position, or because they are in possession of an PSC, without the mandatory need to know. Therefore, holding a position or having an PSC does not, in itself, justify access to classified information .”

Therefore, it becomes complex to determine the “need to know” classified information by the second and fourth vice presidents, Pablo Iglesias and Teresa Ribera, Secretaries of Social Rights and the 2030 Agenda, and for the Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge, respectively.

Finally, the inclusion of Churches in the Government’s Delegated Commission for Intelligence Affairs remains under serious doubt, as the aforementioned does not meet several of the essential criteria for acquiring PSC. Among them, the one mentioned in section c), about association, affiliation, ideological affinity, friendship or complicity with organisations, groups or people who use violent or illegal means to subvert the constitutional order of Spain or its allies. Ad exemplum, its presentation on the television channel HISPANTV, financed by the Government of Iran, which was described by the United States — an ally of Spain and a member of NATO — as the «main state sponsor of terrorism in the world» in his National Security Strategy, published in December 2017. An example of the actions of the Iranian government was the plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador in Washington in 2011. The active US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, declared that the Iranian plan had crossed «a line that will have to be answered.”

Another point that makes it impossible for Vice President Iglesias to obtain the PSC – and therefore for inclusion in the Delegate Commission – lies in his ideological affinity with the Venezuelan regime. There have been innumerable statements in support of the Bolivarian government, whose leader was charged by the United States Attorney General for the crime of drug trafficking. According to the charge, «the Soles cartel is a Venezuelan drug trafficking organisation made up of high officials who abused the people and corrupted the legitimate institutions of Venezuela, including part of the military, the intelligence apparatus, the legislative branch, and the judicial, to facilitate the introduction of tons of cocaine in the United States. ”

Vice President Iglesias himself, in public statements, affirmed his desire to «break by all means the Defence agreement with the United States.» He added: «I do not like that NATO is in our countries, it puts us at risk,” ending with a favourable response to the withdrawal of Spain from this organisation.

This manifest animosity of Churches towards NATO and the United States supposes a clear violation of article 6.c) of norm NS/02 on “the belonging or affinity of the interested party to associations, groups or foundations, whatever their legal form, that could be a conflict of loyalties with the protection of classified information.” In fact, Spain is part of the International Classified Information Protection agreement. Therefore, ex art. 10.2 of the EC, Spain is under obligation to comply with it. In addition, our country, by means of the Council of Secretaries Agreement of May 21, 2012, based on the previous Council of Secretaries agreements of 1982, 2002 and 2005, designates the National Security Authority for the protection of classified information originated by NATO, the EU and ESA to the Secretariess of the Presidency, Defence and Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. These, by agreement of the Council of Secretaries, delegate this function to the secretary of state director of the National Intelligence Center.

The inclusion of Vice President Iglesias would jeapordise these agreements and place the CNI in a complicated position to fulfill the mission entrusted to it: preventing any danger, threat or aggression against the independence or territorial integrity of Spain, national interests, and the stability of the rule of law and its institutions. International cooperation between intelligence services is essential to ensure national security and the defence of Spain, and a loss of confidence on the part of our allies could jeopardise the CNI’s mission and, above all, the socio-economic situation of Spain as a whole.


“And this war now, although men always believe that the one they are fighting in is the greatest and, once it is over, they admire the old ones more, this war, however, will demonstrate to whoever studies it, attending exclusively to the facts, that it has been more important than the preceding ones.”[18]

Thucydides’ words to express what the Peloponnesian war meant for the Greek world perfectly define the situation in which the world remains, Spain in particular, in facing the COVID-19 pandemic.

If there seems to be any consensus among the academia, it is to predict the end of the liberal international order, one of the main themes of the West in the last decade. For the pure liberal school, the disappearance of this order does not have to be negative, but quite the contrary. The improvement in communications has generated hyper-connectivity that has «flattened» the world. This new “era” has implied what some authors have catalogued as the “death of the distance” [19].

However, although this globalisation process has facilitated improved quality of life in wide regions of the world (especially in Asia), it has also generated negative phenomena for the West, such as delocalisation, which has caused a loss of autonomy in crucial aspects, such the production of sanitary material, which today is costing the lives of Spaniards.

But these harmful effects of the hyper-globalisation process that occurred in the West are not only economic. The destruction of employment brought about by the aforementioned relocation, and increase in competitiveness, has left certain sectors of societies out of the world production process. However, it cannot be forgotten that autarky does not revolve around the solution. The State, especially in certain parts of the West, has greatly expanded its functions. In Spain, for example, the weight of the public sector occupies almost half of the national economy. Specifically, 41.7%.

However, as has been pointed out, this expansion of the State is not reduced to the economic sphere, but also affects politics.

Therefore, in the face of this authoritarian drift, exemplified in the inclusion of Churches in the Delegate Commission of the Government for Intelligence Affairs, Spanish civil society must be alert. The false dilemma between security and freedom does not exist as such. It is true that the States still play the leading role in the international system. Above all, in the new era of competition. Hence the need for a strong State — but not extensive — in order to face the multitude of threats and challenges looming on the horizon. The strength of that State depends on its focus on the areas where participation is the only option: defence and justice.

In Spain’s case, the sum of both items would reach a maximum of 2.5% of the Gross Domestic Product, distributed in such a way that we would comply with what was agreed with our NATO allies — the famous 2% – and almost triple the budget that is currently destined for justice [20]. Obviously, this is an entirely utopian situation, since it would be impossible to move from a public sector that covers almost half of the Spanish economy (more than half a trillion euros) to one that accounted for 2.5% (just over 25,000 million).

However, it is, without a doubt, a laudable goal, as we would move from a “road of servitude” for the welfare of the State towards a State that would serve the citizens. As Milton Friedman pointed out, «the great advances of humanity have not come from a government committee» [21].

[1] FUKUYAMA, Francis: “The end of History?”, The National Interest, 1989.

[2] Un mundo “desbocado”, según Anthony Giddens, citado en MARTÍNEZ PARICIO, J.I: “Nuevas formas del poder en las relaciones internacionales”, en Monografía nº110 CESEDEN: “Las relaciones de poder entre las Grandes Potencias y las Organizaciones Internacionales”, Instituto Español de Estudios Estratégicos, 2009, Madrid.

[3] NYE, J. La paradoja del Poder Norteamericano, Taurus, 2003, Madrid, p.11.

[4] MARTINEZ PARICIO, J.I… op.cit. p.37.

[5] MORGENTHAU, Hans J. Política entre las Naciones: la lucha por el poder y la paz, Grupo Editor Latinoamericano, 1986, Buenos Aires.

[6] Citado en CALDUCH, Rafael, El poder y las relaciones internacionales, en CALDUCH, Rafael, Relaciones Internacionales, Ediciones Ciencias Sociales, 1991, Madrid.

[7] Ibidem.

[8] MEARSHEIMER, John J: “Bound to fail: The Rise and Fall of the Liberal International Order”, International Security, Vol.43, No. 4 (Spring 2019), pp.7-50.

[9] Especialmente en el bloque socialista.

[10] A war fought between groups or smaller countries that each represent the interests of other larger powers, and may have help and support from these

[11] MEARSHEIMER… op.cit. p. 10.

[12] MORGENTHAU, …op.cit. p.407.

[13] Es en esta edición donde se incluye el citado párrafo.

[14] MEARSHEIMER… Op. cit. p.13.

[15] MEARSHEIMER, John J: “Imperial by design”, The National Interest, 2011.

[16] COLGAN, Jeff D. KEOHANE Robert O: “The Liberal Order is Rigged: Fix it now or Watch It Wither”, Foreign Affairs, Vol. 96. Nº3. 2017. P.42. Citado en: MEARSHEIMER, op.cit. p.35.

[17] MEARHEIMER, op. cit.p.37.

[18] TUCÍDICES, Historia de la Guerra del Peloponeso, Gredos,2019, p.162.

[19] FRIEDMAN, Thomas L., The World is Flat: The Globalized World in the Twenty-first Century, Penguin, 2009, Londres

[20] En los últimos Presupuestos Generales del Estado, la partida dedicada a Justicia asciende a 1.869 millones de euros.


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