Longitude #46

February, 2015


The global challenge of the Islamic State
by Angelino Alfano

Preventing acts of terrorism has become a major concern for most Western nations. Coordinating the strengths and capabilities among the various allies will be crucial to containing and ultimately defeating this scourge.

When it rains it pours
by Lorenzo Bini Smaghi

The deep recession in Europe started with the euro crisis triggered by Greece. As volatility returns to Athens, the euro, already getting weaker, may face even more troubles.

Euro Sisyphus faces jihad

Averting Eurogeddon
by Lanfranco Vaccari­­

For years Europe has avoided expansionary economic policies in favor of austerity. But with the examples of successful quantitative easing in the US and UK, Europe has no choice but to follow suit. Will it be enough? Or has the European economy passed the point of no return?

The fortress of creditors
by Antonio Pilati

The EU has evolved through stages of utopia, political cunning, and hubris. Now it finds itself in a make-or-break situation in which the paradoxes are so ingrained that they might be insurmountable.

A world of debt
Map by Marie Joveneau
Until debt do us part
by Stefano Cingolani

Greece is on the verge of default. But so are many countries, and some of them have been in debt for centuries. Greece’s anti-austerity parties insist that it would be better for everyone to restructure the country’s debt.

by Stash Luczkiw

Europe is under attack from a homegrown strain of militant Islam that has appeared among its steadily increasing Muslim population. As it shores up its defenses, it will inevitably need to re-examine what it means to be European.

Dealing with the enemy within
by Stefano Stefanini

Europe is at war, whether it likes to call it that or prefers another name. But since the enemy is homegrown Islamist terrorism, it must wage the war in an entirely different manner from its historical fights. 

Muslims in Europe
Map by Marie Joveneau
The Middle East mess: from ideology to geopolitics
by Shahram Bahadori

Between claims of responsibility and denunciations, the Sunnis and Shiites are shoring up their positions in the aftermath of Europe’s rude awakening to the threat of Islamist terrorism. 

Terrorist branding strategy
by Enrico Verga

Any organization that wants to make itself known to the world at large must project a coherent image, or brand. Even terrorists are adapting their marketing strategy to social media.

Cuba libre

Bye-bye old Cuba
by Maurizio Stefanini

Opening up to Cuba has been on the agenda of many US presidents, but something always happened to block a lifting of the embargo. What can Cubans expect from this unprecedented agreement between Obama and Raúl Castro?

The lost pearl in the sea
Map by Marie Joveneau
Walking down a tricky path
by Luigi Maccotta

The thaw in relations between the United States and Cuba announced by their respective presidents is a historic turning point. But it is only a first step, as many details need to be worked out.

The fine art of non-enforcement
by Christopher Caldwell

With Obama’s move to open to Havana, he has again shown his penchant for circumventing recalcitrant legislators and opposition.

Neighbors make nice
by Giorgio Malfatti di Monte Tretto

The economic embargo has long forced Cubans to trim any expectations of material wealth. Now they can dream of living like their compatriots in the United States. 

South Eastern Asia

At the heart of the Asian century
by Gabriele Giovannini, Emanuele Schibotto

Singapore is one of the political and economic success stories of the 20th century. Now, with the US-China rivalry heating up, it is perfectly placed to mediate between the two geopolitical giants.

The Orientalist

Jihadis eye Europe’s fertile ground
by Maurizio Molinari

One of the aims of the jihadist attacks in Paris is to gain more recruits in Europe, while at the same time instigating strife within the Muslim communities.

Warming bloopers

Miraculous clean energy
by Carlo Clini

In an attempt to lower carbon emissions, a movement to boycott investment in fossil fuels has begun. While the motives may be noble, the efforts, upon closer inspection, are rather unrealistic.