Longitude #48

April, 2015


The jihadi threat in the West
by Gianpiero Massolo

With the rise of the Islamic State and the recurrence of terrorist attacks by jihadis in Europe and North America, a vigilant yet measured approach is needed so as not to lose the values we want to defend.

The mistakes we made
by Franco Frattini

What is happening in Libya could have been foreseen four years ago. You cannot leave a theater of war you initiated until the people are safe and free. ­


New British politics in an old Italian sauce
by Pasquale Terracciano

Is the United Kingdom bracing itself for the end of the two-party system? The upcoming elections will almost certainly result in maneuvering that should upset the long-standing balance.

Relativity's century

And our universe would never be the same
by Luciano Maria Barone

Einstein radically altered how we understand the physical universe. In the century since the publication of one of his most important theories, we still have trouble imagining a reality that has been proved many times.

Science and the City: market-processed knowledge
by Paolo Bianco

At a certain point in the 20th century, a paradigm shift in the value and purpose of scientific knowledge occurred. The reliance on market forces to guide science may ultimately jeopardize centuries of progress.

Fiscal paradise lost

The vaults of paradise
by Stefano Cingolani

As governments become increasingly strapped for cash, a movement to make tax havens less attractive has gained traction. Unfortunately the practical application of fiscal transparency is extremely problematic.

Transnational tax avoidance
Map by Marie Joveneau
The perennial Swiss hedge
by Maurizio Stefanini

Over the centuries the Swiss have learned how to protect themselves and their interests. Now that banking secrecy has come under attack, they are trying to adapt to the manifold ramifications.

The scent of money
by Lanfranco Vaccari­­

The practice of offering and taking bribes is much older than money itself. As the world economy grows more sophisticated, corruption’s tendrils simply ramify in more elaborate ways.

United States

Democratic dynasties
by Christopher Caldwell

The next presidential elections in the United States may bring either a Bush or a Clinton into the White House. What that says about the democratic process is disheartening at best.


Staring at the big break up
by Stefano Stefanini

Europe’s enlargement was already a monumental achievement. But the specter of impending exits and the travails of heading them off are so huge that no one wants to imagine the repercussions.


The deal behind the Iran deal
by Renzo Rosso

As negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program head into the final stretch, it becomes increasingly clearer that what is really at stake is the balance of power in the Middle East and the degree of influence other countries will have there.

Saudi Arabia

All the King’s dilemmas
by Shahram Bahadori

The recently crowned King of Saudi Arabia finds himself at the helm of what has long been a bastion of stability in a maelstrom. Having financed the source of so much of the chaos, the Saudis now fear it could come back to haunt them.

Power play in Arabia
Map by Marie Joveneau

International security

by Stash Luczkiw

Sometimes death count is less important than the manner in which murder is perpetrated. The increased awareness of what shocks leaders and populations to action is having a huge impact on politics.

Chaos and control
Map by Marie Joveneau

The Orientalist

Israel’s right keeps Netanyahu alive
by Maurizio Molinari

Just before Israeli voters went to the polls, the Prime Minister took a more hawkish stance than usual with the Palestinians. As a result of his victory, the two-state solution is probably dead.

Warming bloopers

Decoupling strategy
by Carlo Clini

One of the biggest obstacles in achieving a climate change agreement has been a seeming contradiction between the right to growth of the developing world and energy related emissions reduction.