Longitude #08

September, 2011


In Mao’s shoes

Why China need not be feared
by Han S. Park

Maintaining steady growth is the key to China’s domestic and foreign policy. There is in Chinese culture a deeply rooted pragmatism that recognizes the need for stability in order for global economic activity to flourish.

The big leap forward
by Franco Frattini

The aim of the coming century is to transform this world without destroying it. So as China takes a greater political and economic role, it is important to encourage dialogue that will lay the foundation for cooperation.

by Stash Luczkiw

In order not to ruffle the giant’s feathers, longstanding criticisms and suspicions have had to be hushed. But playing the devil’s advocate, one might suggest that not all that glitters is gold.

Generational shift in the CPC
by Edoardo Ferrazzani

What direction China takes will be largely determined by the new “fifth generation” of communist leaders, poised to take the reins of the government in 2­­012.

The rush to rule the waves
by Vittorio Emanuele Parsi

China’s naval might is expanding into the Indian and Pacific Oceans at the same time that the US is withdrawing its presence. This sets the scene for either a new military rivalry or a strategic partnership.

Balancing a rising giant
by Michele Bagella

In order to avoid sudden shocks China has utilized a monetary policy to nurture its rapid growth, while harnessing inflation often to the detriment of its competition. Keeping a balance between the two will be crucial to its international stability.

Shanghai’s stepping it up
by Vincenzo De Luca

From its beginning, Shanghai was destined to become the city that would open China to the world. In its most recent incarnation it has become a launch pad from which the swinging megalopolis exports not only goods, but a mindset driven by novelty and enterprise.

After the fall who will pick up the pieces?

A relic of the past
by Christopher Caldwell

Gaddafi has been in power for longer than most leaders in contemporary history. An icon of stability and tyranny, as well as the double face of international relations, he has now been swept away. What replaces him will condition the West’s agenda.

The Arab winter of discontent
by Emanuele Ottolenghi

Ten months on, the Arab explosion has shown its truer – more nuanced and complicated – colors. Rather than indulge in euphoria, the West should keep in mind that the dignity that people demand cannot be equated with Western freedoms.

Futures hanging in the wind
by Francesco Zannini

Anyone looking into a crystal ball to know the future of the Arab world will no doubt find the details clouded by a dust storm. Yet while people’s demands may be similar, each country poses very particular problems when it comes to implementing reforms.

The Moroccan exception
by Carlo Panella

Rather than implementing democracy as shock therapy, Morocco has chosen a path that first dismantles some undemocratic aspects of sharia law. In the struggle of Muhammad vs. Montesquieu, one king has set an edifying example.­

Looking at the Arab paradox
by Gianluca Sadun Bordoni

The irony emerging from the revolutions is that the more Western ideals are championed, the more Western policies may be shunned. Many misconceptions will need to be shattered if a vision of democracy compatible with Islam is to take shape.

What to make of NATO
by Alessandro Minuto Rizzo

Overreaching in Afghanistan and losing cohesion in Libya, NATO is now at a point where it needs to redefine its purpose. While it may be suffering from an identity crisis, it still provides the security for which it was created.

Palestinian maneuvers at the UN
by Carlo Panella

As the Palestinians bring their case for statehood to the UN, Israel would be wise to cautiously pay heed to international opinion, especially given the precarious political climate surrounding it.

Debt crisis

Capitalism getting long ­­in the tooth
by Stefano Cingolani

As many declare capitalism to be in its death throes, developing nations keep embracing it. This is because one thing is obvious: there is no viable alternative on the horizon. The question is whether the system’s middle-age crisis can make it wiser.

Debt was the price of liberty
by Richard Greco

American power sprang out of debt. Now with the need to cut military spending, it is imperative that the structure of the US and her allies’ defense industries be reexamined in order to maintain their competitive edge.

Horn of Africa

Famine and the failed state
by Anna Bono

All it takes is a prolonged drought to plunge East Africa into yet another famine. But add to that the ongoing civil war in Somalia and Islamic factions’ resistance to outside aid, and you get the makings of an unprecedented tragedy.

Warming bloopers

Painting the Blue Helmets green
by Carlo Clini

Is climate change a security issue? The debate is gaining traction in the UN, but the issue has been met with resistance, suspicion and a fair share of hypocrisy.