Longitude #59

April, 2016


Cover story

America in Trumpland
by Lanfranco Vaccari­­

It seems as if a large chunk of the US population has stepped through the looking glass and seen the wonders of what winning might look like. But who are the folks who have turned Trump into a movement that is shaking America up?

The GOP in turmoil
Map by Marie Joveneau
Trumpnomics for dummies
by Stefano Cingolani

China, Mexico, Japan and globalization have all been demonized by the Trump campaign. And yet, there is a grain of truth to many of the underlying reasons for his economic retrenchment movement.

by Stash Luczkiw

Pop-politics is nothing new. But when traditional content is combined with new forms and revolutionary technology, one can expect a sea change. The Trump movement exhibits all the symptoms of such a shift as it taps into America’s hopes and fears.


De non bello libico, or the Libyan mess
by Carlo Jean

The Libyan Civil War needs external forces to come in and sort things out. Unfortunately the forces that are inclined to engage and are capable of making a difference have different goals and sympathies, which only complicates an already chaotic situation.

Oil,water,sand and guns
Map by Marie Joveneau
The European shadow over Libya
by Fabrizio Franciosi

The ongoing civil war in Libya was a direct result of European intervention. Now the mess across the Mediterranean risks further damaging the already fragile European project.

The Orientalist

Middle East doctrine killers
by Ugo Tramballi

If there is indeed such a thing as the Obama Doctrine, then the Middle East has shown how it entails strategic restraint bordering on cynical passivity, which some argue leads inevitably to the neutering of American power.


How jihadists survive in Africa
by Anna Bono

More and more countries in Africa are getting hit by jihadist terror attacks. Their numbers are not so great, but they manage to take advantage of governments’ weaknesses and endemic corruption.

Featured briefing

Financing the new bubble
by Enrico Verga

Is the startup bubble that has characterized the IT revolution about to burst? There has certainly been an evolution in both the way startups get funding and in the types of businesses that are attracting investors.

The cash value of virtual reality
by Kyle Chayka

Just as philosophers have asked weather an unobserved tree falling in the forest makes a sound, so economists are wondering whether virtual goods can exist without their platforms.

The interface is where it's at
by Shahram Bahadori

As virtual economies multiply, their lack of infrastructure and tangible goods forces us to redefine what we mean by value.

Bracing for the new industrial revolution
by Maurizio Stefanini

Machines changed the way humans live and interact. Soon machines will be running and building themselves. Over time we will need to become increasingly intimate with the machines and systems that facilitate our lives.

World economy

Ethics pay
by Roberto Spingardi

Business is not just business. Commerce is a consummately human activity, and as such should be based on moral foundations. When this occurs, we are ensured that a true meritocracy can take hold, which is ultimately good for the bottom line.

Fighting corruption
by Ugo Colombo Sacco di Albiano, Giovanni Tartaglia Polcini

We are moving toward a new legally oriented economic environment at the international level. In recent years Italy has played a major role in dealing with endemic corruption not only at home, but also abroad.

Rethink your pricing strategy, now.
by Hermann Simon, Danilo Zatta

Sometimes increasing volume or cutting prices is a losing solution. Often the wisest things for a company is to simply increase prices. But it has to know how to do it.

Warming bloopers

Counting tree rings in the doldrums
by Carlo Clini

What do narrow tree rings in Florida have to do with encroaching glaciers in Greenland? Both are connected to a lull in sunspot activity.