Longitude #33

December, 2013


Diplomacy for growth
by Emma Bonino

Italy is famous for fashion, food and fast cars. But many thriving areas of the economy have long gone unnoticed. Promoting Italian ingenuity, attracting foreign investment and reversing the brain drain are essential elements of diplomacy.

Holy glasnost

by Stash Luczkiw

Pope Francis has set out to regenerate the Roman Catholic Church by rekindling the spirit of Christ within it. That spirit, however, may be sowing the very seeds of the Church’s demise.

A very Latin American papacy
by Maurizio Stefanini

The current pope has brought to Rome an aura of the New World, with a very particular brand of populism indigenous to Latin America.

Glasnost without perestroika
by Christopher Caldwell

The Catholic Church is bracing itself for a new era of openness initiated by Pope Francis. But will the openness lead to structural reform? And if so, at what risk?

The Catholic universe
Map by Marie Joveneau
The future of soul food
by Enrico Verga

An agricultural revolution is needed in order to adequately feed the developing countries and ensure a transformation that is at once efficient and ethical. The change, however, must be driven by more than just profits. The Catholic Church may be the best-equipped organization.

Losing the art of political dialogue

It wasn’t meant to be like this
by Lanfranco Vaccari­­

Political parties originated from within society to advocate for common interests. Over time they have become entrenched in the state, and now their power squabbles risk divorcing them entirely from the people they were intended to represent.

After the party
by Pasquale Ferrara

Whereas political parties once served to guarantee popular representation, they have increasingly come to be seen as autonomous entities concerned mainly with their own self-perpetuation. Are we headed for a partyless democracy?

The (so far) silent center
by Giancarlo Loquenzi

In America’s tug of war between stubborn extremists, a previously hidden moderate bloc from both sides of the political divide – the New American Center – is beginning to make its presence and preferences felt.

Middle East

Détente with Iran
by Lapo Pistelli

While hope for an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program grows, there are those who fear any rapprochement with Iran, which would likely raise the regional standing of the long ostracized Islamic Republic.

Trying to keep Bibi cool
by Claudio Pagliara

While most Israelis agree with Netanyahu’s objection to the nuclear deal with Iran, many worry that his indignant rhetoric will cause a much more problematic rift with the United States.

Libya’s sweet oil and soured hope
by Roberto Bongiorni

Early pessimism after the fall of Gaddafi went largely unnoticed as attention was turned to more pressing situations in the Middle East. But now the dire warnings from have come true, and the country risks descending into further chaos.

Securing the Gulf
by Alessandro Minuto Rizzo

Cooperative security will be a key element to future stability in what is now a precarious part of the world. NATO is perhaps the only international organization that can offer viable security partnerships.

Global security

Pooling resources makes sense
by Marta Dassù

Europe will sooner or later need to fend for itself in matters of security. To do so effectively it must coordinate efforts and make the most of its resources.

Jazzing up the steadfast Alliance
by Stefano Stefanini

As it pulls out of Afghanistan, NATO finds its international role growing in complexity, yet as relevant as ever. The need to adapt to unpredictable events has pushed the Alliance into a veritable transatlantic renaissance.

Toward a new energy balance
by Pasquale Salzano

There are several game changers in play now in the world’s energy sector. Each one will have huge geo-strategic implications that must be taken into consideration.

New frontiers

­­­Myanmar’s time
by Gabriele Giovannini

After decades of exclusion from the process of economic development and globalization that has transformed the rest of Southeast Asia, Myanmar is poised to join its already modernized neighbors.

San Francisco: the new Serenissima
by Mauro Battocchi

Open to trade in far-flung and highly dynamic regions overseas, the San Francisco Bay Area is at the vanguard of trade with Asia. As the Asian influence within the city takes root, a new commercial culture is being formed.

World economy

Gulliver’s troubles
by Giuseppe Pennisi

Why is Asia afraid of a monetary union? One look at the giant experiment of a single currency in Europe and it is clear how daunting such an ambitious undertaking can be.

Warming bloopers

Biodiversity and population growth
by Carlo Clini

One of the biggest environmental problems facing us in the future is the extinction of plant and animal species within delicate ecosystems due to rapid population growth.