Longitude #23

January, 2013


Looking for stability

The man who would be Pharaoh
by Alessandro Merola

Just when Egypt’s President Morsi was flush with kudos from the international community, he launched a blantant power grab. What inspired his decision? And will the Muslim Brotherhood’s approach prove to be a model for the rest of the region?

Morsi’s case
by Christopher Caldwell

What many Egypt-watchers see as a stab at authoritarianism, may upon closer inspection be merely an attempt to get around a political impasse in the best of Western democratic traditions.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the savviest of them all?
by Claudio Pagliara

With Netanyahu leading in the polls before the upcoming election, his government is mulling over two crucial issues: Israel’s relationship with Egypt and renewed peace negotiations with the Palestinians.

Firing up the stalled peace talks
by Luigi Mattiolo

For years, negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians have been at a standstill. In the latest crisis, the Americans have joined forces with the new Egyptian government to push for reconciliation. Could this be an opening for renewed progress?

by Stash Luczkiw

The Sunni-Shia divide is inflaming a Middle East still staggering from ongoing upheavals. The resurgence of this ancient rivalry makes it imperative to take identity into consideration
as much as ideals.

Something stirring in Africa

Africa’s golden leap
by Lanfranco Vaccari­­

Long regarded as a hopeless continent, Africa is poised to flourish economically in the 21st century. The causes are a combination of familiar patterns in economic development as well as a dose of uniquely African ingenuity.

Sub-Saharan statistics
Somalia: from bullets to ballots
by Carlo Lo Cascio

For decades synonymous with “failed state,” Somalia has finally turned a corner. A new and fairly elected government is being aided by the international community to guide the Somali people out of the chaos in which they have been languishing.

Beyond low-wage labor
by Domenico Lombardi

Grim near-term global economic forecasts present challenges for the burgeoning economies of Africa. Nevertheless, the growth that many of them have been experiencing will likely continue, and a broad range of possibilities lies ahead.

South Africa’s mired economy
by Anna Bono

Since the end of apartheid, South Africa has struggled against a host of problems to bring some semblance of equality. For years corruption and disease eroded the social fabric. Now the economic crisis has made matters worse. What once was seen as the driving economic force, is now floundering.

A steady performer­ nonetheless
by Vincenzo Schioppa

Even if current economic indicators would seem to suggest otherwise, South Africa serves as driver for a continent that is on the verge of soaring. The country is a natural hub, both commercially and diplomatically, from which to establish a network of relations.

Military technology

Drone democracy
by Enrico Verga

As the technology behind unmanned aerial vehicles becomes more accessible and the industry expands into the private sector, our skies ­­and landscapes may become more crowded in ways we have only just begun to imagine.

Transatlantic relations

Free trade across the Atlantic
by Stefano Cingolani

Almost one-third of all world trade occurs between the United States and the European Union. Any free trade agreement between the two would be a game changer in the global economy.

Asia can wait
by Hermann Simon, Danilo Zatta

While the world joins together in shifting its center of gravity toward Asia, a closer look at the indicators suggests that the transatlantic relationship between the United States and Europe will continue to hold sway well into the second quarter of the 21st century.


The incredible shrinking Germans
by Ubaldo Villani-Lubelli

Germany is a without a doubt Europe’s powerhouse. But the powerhouse is getting old. It seems the only people in Germany having children are foreigners, and this has many Germans very worried.

South America

Brazil: a tale of two countries
by Rodrigo Zeidan, Michele Bagella

Once the quintessence of economic disparity and fiscal irresponsibility, Brazil is now showing other nations how to get their economies in order. But many of its problems remain and risk undermining the nation’s hard-earned progress.

Charting Brazilian growth


Storm of steel
by Maurizio Stefanini

Once the foundation of European and American industry, the world’s biggest steel producers are now Asian. In many ways the evolution of the steel industry reflects what’s to come in other sectors.

Warming bloopers

Waiting for the giants to join
by Carlo Clini

Incremental progress was made at the most recent climate change conference. A new regime with more rational classifications has been established. But will the US and China, the two biggest polluters, ratify the agreement?