Piqué, a true Atlanticist, was also a Latin Americanist who was convinced that Spain’s dual North-South perspective had to unfold in a more creative and, above all, more intense international thinking. It is not enough to replicate the analysis frameworks of our European or North American partners. He committed to it with a publication like Foreign Policy.
The economist, professor, minister, politician and businessman Josep Piqué has been CEO and editor of Estudios de Política Exterior since February 2020. He took the reins of this small publishing group with the sole purpose of contributing to the future and viability of a publication that since 1987 has ensured that top-level international analyzes and debates are also produced in Spanish. Piqué generously and dedicatedly took over from the founder of the magazine, Darío Valcárcel. Both understood that, in a democratic, modern and open society, the general interests of Spain could also be served from a publication.
Thinking the world in Spanish is a way of creating that world. The international order that is in question today is a reflection, not by chance, of the great ideas, theories and debates of international relations originating in the academic world, in think tanks and in the Anglo-Saxon media. Piqué shared with Foreign Policy the concern that Spain missed the opportunity to generate and promote the international debate in Spanish, and this was finally led by an Anglo-Saxon group – most likely from the United States – where they not only have the resources to do so, but above all with the determination to shape global ideas and debates. In 2060, the US will be the second Spanish-speaking country in the world, behind Mexico.
Spanish is not just another language, neither by volume of speakers (more than 500 million people) nor by the countries that speak it, most of them included in what is now called the “Global South”, which is nothing else. than a group of diverse countries that want to participate in the construction of an international system that better responds to their visions, interests and problems. Spain can help make the order that is being forged today more participatory and peaceful, as well as freer and more democratic, by promoting constant and profound reflection on international relations in Spanish. After all, Spain, which is today a country of the North integrated into the central institutions of the “Western order” –the European Union and NATO–, has not ceased to be a country of the South as well. And it is not only because of its geographical position, but because of the reality of a series of common challenges: economic, security or exposure to crises such as climate change.
Piqué, a true Atlanticist, was also a Latin Americanist who was convinced that Spain’s dual North-South perspective had to unfold in more creative and, above all, more intense international thought. It is not enough to replicate the analysis frameworks of our European or North American partners. He committed to it with a publication like Foreign Policy until the last day. The difficulties were not few. His health, already fragile when he took over as editor, suffered one series of setbacks after another which, however, did not stop him from attending countless meetings to explain his vision of the publishing project and gather props. Accompanying him and listening to him has been a privilege.
Josep soon discovered the ingratitude of the publishing world, the difficulty of finding sources that would ensure the sustainability of an eminently intellectual project of general interest. For this purpose, he created the Foreign Policy Analysis Foundation, whose operation he continued to promote these days. He didn’t give her time to see the result of his effort. He, too, could not fully enjoy all that is magnificent that the office of editor contains. His three years with us were spent in “hard work.” He had the full support of the board of directors and the board of trustees, and with the absolute dedication of Carlos López Blanco in this very difficult last year.
His legacy has been profound. It is available to Foreign Policy readers in its 50 specific installments of the “Editor’s Notes”, which began in November 2020, with its vision of Asia in the reconfiguration of the international order, and ended on March 23, with an analysis of the possible scenarios for going out to war in Ukraine. His first collaboration with Foreign Policy dates back to 1997, then Minister of Industry. It is worth reading his responses in 2007 to a questionnaire to all foreign ministers to celebrate the first 100 issues of the magazine.
In Foreign Policy we already miss having you always close and accessible, responding immediately to emails, mobile messages or calls. Thank you Josep, dear editor, for your company and support for this project.