Articles by Shaun Riordan

About the Author

Shaun Riordan
Shaun Riordan is Director of the Department for Diplomacy and Cyberspace in the European Institute of International Studies and a senior visiting fellow of the Netherlands Institute of International Relations, “Clingendael”. He is also an independent geopolitical risk consultant. A former British diplomat, he served in New York, Taiwan, Beijing and Madrid, as well as the departments of counter-terrorism and the Eastern Adriatic in the Foreign Office. Shaun has taught at diplomatic academies in the Dominican Republic, Spain, Armenia and Bulgaria. He is the author of “Cyberdiplomacy: Managing Security and Governance Online” (Polity, 2019), “Adios a la Diplomacia” (Siglo XXI, 2005) and “The New Diplomacy” (Polity, 2003). He maintains a blog (www.shaunriordan.com) and can be followed at @shaun_riordan
May's Brexit strategy: avoid becoming the new Ramsay Mac

EU Elections: UK remains divided on Brexit

Shaun Riordan | The elections to the European Parliament in the UK were always something of a farce. Because of the inability of the British political class to decide what kind of Brexit it wanted, if indeed it wanted Brexit at all, British voters were forced to elect members to the parliament of a Union which, in theory at least, they will leave in five months. But they were also something of an anti-climax.



Spain productivity

Spain will exit from excessive deficit procedure in June

European Economics Commissioner Pierre Moscovici confirmed on Wednesday that the European Commission will recommend that Spain exit the Excessive Deficit Mechanism in June. He did not specify exactly when the recommendation will be published, but indicated that it will be included in the Commission´s Spring Package, due to be published early next month. Technically the decision must be ratified by the member states of the Union, but this is seen as a formality.


Time for Spain to get a foreign policy

Time For Spain To Get A Foreign Policy

Shaun Riordan | If Spain wants to take advantage of the opportunities it must develop real foreign and European policies. It is a shame that none of this was discussed in the election campaign.


Op-Ed: British Journalists, Lift Your Spanish Game

Shaun Riordan | British (and foreign journalism in general) would do better to forget the obsession with their civil war narratives and focus on the economic, social and political issues confronting modern Spain. Explaining Spain´s electoral results in terms of the Civil War is no more relevant than explaining the Brexit vote in terms of the Battle of Britain, and just as misleading.


Spain: The Election Debate that Changes Little

Shaun Riordan | The other oddity of the debate was the almost complete absence of policy. Many commentators have already noted the absence of economic policy from the election campaign. Last night there was no mention of health or the key issue of further reform of the labour market.


The fear of an accident is beginning to dominate Spanish society

Elections in Spain: Polls suggest centre-left government, but exact make-up remains uncertain

Shaun Riordan | Unless the polls are dramatically wrong, Pedro Sanchez´ socialist party (PSOE) will be by far the largest party after the Spanish general election on 28 April. Given that, there are three key questions for foreign observers: will the right wing bloc of the Partido Popular (PP), Ciudadanos and Vox secure an absolute majority of seats in the parliament? Will the combined vote of PSOE, the left wing Podemos and the Basque nationalists be sufficient to form a government without the support, active or passive, of the Catalan nationalists? How well will the far-right Vox do?


The European Non-Union And Brexit – Plus Ça Change …

Shaun Riordan | This week is billed as, yet another, crucial week in the Brexit process. Prime Minister May will yet again bring her withdrawal deal back to parliament. Little has changed since she last presented it, and it looks like being rejected again.


Banks need to rethink Cybersecurity

Banks need to rethink Cybersecurity

Shaun Riordan | Banks and other financial institutions are all too aware of the cybersecurity threat. They have lost millions in theft and fraud over the years. In response they have spent millions on technical measures to protect themselves, both perimeter and in depth defences. Such measures are necessary, but not sufficient.


Trump unchained: Danger ahead for Europe

Trump unchained: Danger ahead for Europe

Shaun Riordan | President Trump is in trouble. He lost control of the House of Representatives in the mid-term elections. But Trump is not like most US Presidents. Moreover, he knows that moderating his position will lose his base and consequently the 2020 election.This is all bad news for Europe. Germany’s economy is already teetering on the edge of recession. Tariffs on car exports to the US (not to mention a no deal Brexit) would push it over the edge, dragging the rest of Europe down with it.