Longitude #54

November, 2015


Holy politics

From the Church’s far edge
by Matteo Matzuzzi

Francis is considered to be the Pope of the People. But the most unique aspect of his papacy is the seeming reversal of a centuries-old pattern. He is trying to change the Vatican by focusing on the Church’s periphery.

Vatican reshuffle
Map by Marie Joveneau

How the car is changing

The car wars continue
by Stefano Cingolani

The automobile industry has been agitated for a long time, with new technologies changing the very soul of the car. The recent VW scandal may serve as the spark for a revolution already in the making.

What’s driving change
Map by Marie Joveneau
The car of the future
by Maurizio Stefanini

New technologies are available both within each automobile and among the countless cars to make up an interactive network of transport information. As the two technologies converge, driving as we know it will never be the same.

Shifting the energy paradigm
by Arvea Marieni, Corrado Clini

The next generation technologies will trigger the Auto APP-ocalypse – and eventually change the world. Not only will cars run without polluting, they will generate energy just sitting in parking lots.

US and Russia

by Stash Luczkiw

As Russian bombs bolster the Assad regime in Syria, Putin is walking a razor’s edge between the hope of forcing a negotiated settlement and the risk of a proxy war with the United States.

Middle East

Syrian battleground
Map by Marie Joveneau


Testing the waters abroad
by Fabrizio Franciosi

China has long been averse to any foreign military engagements that are not directly related to their security. Now with Russia having entered the Syrian
fray, Beijing is reassessing its role in international interventions.

World economy

Economies in downshift mode
by Domenico Lombardi, Samantha St. Amand

The rampant growth experienced by many emerging economies in previous decades has slowed down across the board. Some countries are managing the downturn well, while others seem to be skidding.

The ayatollah wears Prada
by Shahram Bahadori

Iran is opening up to international business. But the fashion business – from clothing manufacturers to modeling agencies – must take into consideration certain peculiarities of the Islamic Republic. 


The Republican meltdown
by Lanfranco Vaccari­­

The GOP is currently experiencing severe turbulence. The cultural chasm between its white male middle-class base and the urbane elites who fund it has opened further and seriously jeopardized the party’s chances for the White House.

Friction between patricians and populists
by Christopher Caldwell

The Republican Party appears to be going through dire straits. However, what on the surface may look like a full-on implosion is actually more of a rift within an already existing coalition of interests.

The Orientalist

The new Islamist Intifada
by Maurizio Molinari

What distinguishes the current uprising of Palestinians from previous ones is the religious impulse behind it, which has supplanted the nationalism of past intifadas. Israelis fear this new element might be much harder to contain.

Inside business

Why Germany needs the TTIP
by Hermann Simon, Danilo Zatta

When it comes to German exports, America is the week spot. Even though it’s a huge market, the Germans could be selling much more. The new TTIP trade agreement would facilitate Germany’s entry and establishment into the US market.

Warming bloopers

The Pope weighs in on climate change
by Carlo Clini

In his most recent encyclical, the Pope has called on all people, not just Christians, to take responsibility for protecting creation against humanity’s self-destructive streak.