Longitude #62

July, 2016

Leaders

The Orientalist

The post-Ottoman syndrome
by Ugo Tramballi

The Sykes-Picot agreement has developed a reputation as the root cause of all the Middle East’s problems. But the only ones who want to get rid of those borders are forces intent on fomenting chaos.

Cover story

Britons leave Europe to the Last Men
by Stefano Cingolani

The United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union. Now apart from managing the inevitable turmoil that will ensue, the EU must confront the risk of a domino effect as it assesses how this could have happened and how to prevent further defections. 

Europe

The May of French discontent
by Renzo Rosso

The social unrest France has been experiencing bears many resemblances to May ’68. Unlike then, however, the current populism is taking hold in a context that sees traditional political parties and blocs declining.

Austria infelix
by Rita Monaldi, Francesco Sorti

Popular dissent and populist demagogy are on the rise in Austria. But seen from the outside, the country is doing well. So what are the causes of so much discontent?

US Elections

No more Mr. Nice Guys
by Stash Luczkiw

Americans are fed up. Now all the focus is on Donald Trump, who is transforming American politics by touching tender nerves and re-exalting a side of the American psyche that has come to be considered taboo.

Democracy

Information,freedom and responsibility
by Roberto Spingardi

The right to express oneself is a cornerstone of democratic society. But information can also be used to manipulate and coerce. The dilemma requires an ethical approach that remains vigilant against inevitable pitfalls.

Featured briefing

Walking the walk on the environment
by Corrado Clini

Everyone wants to fix the environment and stave off climate change, and the Paris Agreement was a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, many crucial economic and geopolitical elements have been left out of the equation.

Towards a circular economy
by Federica Porcellana

Europe now has a program that hopes to achieve zero waste. By reusing, recycling and planning for the future, a virtuous circle can be established that will benefit both the environment and the economy.

EU court reviews gas cap
by Federica Porcellana

In an attempt to wrestle with the unprecedented problem of regulating carbon emissions, the European Court of Justice has come up with a multi-pronged strategy that includes invalidating the industrial cap.

Culture

When art gets caught in war
by Fabrizio Franciosi

Unfortunately, in order to destroy an enemy, human beings have learned that it is not always enough to destroy functional structures. Getting rid of cultural heritage is also an effective weapon for subjugating another nation.

Stealing culture
by Giuseppe Proietti

The theft, illegal trafficking and destruction of cultural patrimony are problems that have existed as long as civilizations have been fighting. Today states are attempting to band together to minimize this blight.

New frontiers

Health and the Big Data revolution
by Luca Pani

The gathering of information features more and more in the field of research and development of new medicines. Considering the quantity of data and the numerous opportunities for crosschecking, its management goes far beyond the national and must necessarily be dealt with globally.

Megaphone

Europe's soft power
by Gianluca Comin

Europe’s role in world affairs continues to wane. Nevertheless, it remains a cultural superpower. What’s needed is an intelligent communication strategy to highlight the best of what Europe has to offer the world.

Warming bloopers

Don't mention the climate
by Carlo Clini

Many sites across the world are at risk from climate change. But some governments would prefer not to have too much publicity in that regard, lest the gathering reality have a negative impact on tourism.