Longitude #32

November, 2013


The price of security
by Franco Frattini

In order to strengthen cross-continental cooperation, NATO members must reassess their responsibilities. And European members must above all integrate their military capabilities more efficiently.

Making intelligence smarter
by Gianpiero Massolo

In order to better protect the national interest, Italy’s intelligence community has needed to evolve from a culture of secrecy to a culture of security.

The elusive stick of power
by Vincenzo Camporini

Balancing threats with incentives is an age-old political skill. As societies become more complex and technologically advanced, there is a greater probability that our “carrots” and “sticks” will not work as intended with less developed adversaries.

Why Italy matters
by Stefano Stefanini

It’s not just a matter of showing up to the table, but also of delivering something for others. Italy is realizing that it has always been better off when it works with others.

Angela the Great

Angela the Great
by Lanfranco Vaccari­­

The EU was created essentially to contain Germany. And yet, almost despite itself, Germany has become the continent’s dominant power. Angela Merkel’s solid and often misunderstood leadership has played a major part. Now the future of Europe hinges on how she will resolve her country’s numerous paradoxes.

The familiar statesman
by Christopher Caldwell

Fresh off her landslide win in the German elections, Angela Merkel begins her third term as both a familiar face and a figure with a track record of unpredictability.

The defeat of populism
by Gianluca Sadun Bordoni

Angela Merkel’s victory in the German elections was also a decisive win over anti-European populism. But with the dwindling of the fringe parties, she will need to put together some form of coalition since the fringes are bound to reconstitute.

Conservative hat trick
by Ubaldo Villani-Lubelli

By sticking to her guns throughout the campaign and remaining firm with respect to her winning European policy, Angela Merkel has not only outlasted the naysayers who criticized her abroad, she has also shored up an unprecedented popularity at home.

Global rush in telecommunications

Everything everywhere and all-in-one
by Stefano Cingolani

The telecoms industry is evolving so rapidly that a recent slew of mergers and potential acquisitions might be just the tip of the iceberg as consumers brace themselves for next-generation technology and services.

Global telecom traffic data
Map by Marie Joveneau
Power cables
by Carlo Jean

Communications has always been a crucial element in any defense strategy. The current digital revolution has magnified its importance beyond measure. How can communications be controlled without jeopardizing the freedom that is the purpose of defense?

The web wars
by Maurizio Stefanini

The high-tech digital world is a jungle – economically speaking. Companies rise to world domination and die out in a fraction of a generation. Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia is emblematic of how quickly things need to shift in such a volatile environment.

World economy

Where the world gathers under one umbrella
by Domenico Lombardi, Skylar Brooks

Washington is the hub for an array of international organizations, a place where ministers from all over the world come and try to give some direction to what would otherwise be political and economic chaos in a world buffeted by crises.

The blockbuster free trade agreement
by Moreno Zani

The proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the US and Europe will be huge. But along with the opportunities it affords there will also be risks. Many industries will need to adapt.


by Stash Luczkiw

Having saved Russia from irrelevance, Vladimir Putin will continue his calculated path toward reestablishing his nation as a world power that has to be taken seriously in matters of geopolitical significance.


Ukraine: between a rock and a hard place
by Matteo Tacconi

Perennially caught between Western European powers and Russia, Ukraine must navigate between the two to its own advantage. At an upcoming summit, Kyiv will need to make a choice between Brussels and Moscow.


Boomtown Baku
by Roberto Galli

Despite an unresolved military conflict and a rather authoritarian regime, Azerbaijan, thanks to oil and gas, is experiencing a steady rise in its standard of living and is growing in importance internationally.

Nuclear negotiations

Going it alone
by Emanuele Ottolenghi

Israel seems to be the odd man out in its resistance to striking any easy deal with Iran. Nevertheless, talks are under way and Israel’s skepticism may be welcomed in silence by many of Israel’s neighbors.

Bibi the spoilsport
by Claudio Pagliara

With everyone exited about the negotiations that have gotten under way in Geneva over Iran’s nuclear program, Israel’s prime minister is trying to throw a damp towel on the festivities.

Talk, talk, talk
by Carlo Panella

Iran is making overtures about concessions, but it is far from clear if they are willing to scrap their nuclear program, or at least put it under international observation, in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.

Stretching Persia
by Enrico Verga

As the world’s second largest gas producer, Iran is looking to expand its influence through a new pipeline that would open markets for its gas exports. But to do so it must have sanctions eased.

Warming bloopers

Climate change refugees
by Carlo Clini

Can rising sea levels be equated with government persecution? A court in New Zealand has had to deal with the question of whether people escaping the effects of environmental catastrophe can be treated as political refugees.