Longitude #67

January, 2017


The Orientalist

The Middle East strawman
by Ugo Tramballi

We need to deconstruct the Islamic State. While feared as terrorist organization, it is exaggerated as a geopolitical threat. More than anything, it is a symptom of a deeper power struggle in the region.

Cover story

What's left of the left
by Lanfranco Vaccari­­

Pummeled by a wave of almost unimaginable electoral defeats, the left in Europe and the US must now examine how it managed to misunderstand all the changes in a society that has lashed out against it. 

The Fillon moment: passing event or systemic breakthrough?
by Michele Marchi

The French right has a storied tradition. Each new leader tries to mold the republic according to the historic context and to his own interpretation of republican values. Now François Fillon stands poised to initiate a shift in that tradition.

Between the extreme and the incompetent
by Renzo Rosso

France is gearing up for presidential elections in the midst of a wave of anti-EU populism. With the Socialists in crisis, the center-right must strike a difficult balance if it hopes to navigate between the ascendant far-right and the shattered left.

Italy's revolutionless restoration
by Stefano Cingolani

The government of Matteo Renzi fell for a variety of reasons. But the electorate’s resounding rejection of his proposed structural reforms is a symptom of a much deeper refusal – that of a general unwillingness in the developed world to adapt to reality.

US - Culture wars

by Stash Luczkiw

As if to underscore the demise of ideologies, a presidential campaign focused on self-aggrandizement and character assassination has brought a new kind of leader to power in the United States. 


The President-elect’s two-China policy
by Fabrizio Franciosi

Tensions between China and Donald Trump flared up after the President-elect took an unprecedented phone call from Taiwan’s leader. Such slights could seriously damage an important bilateral relationship.


Cuba in the wake of Fidel
by Maurizio Stefanini

Now that Fidel Castro is no longer physically there to act as Cuba’s revolutionary conscience, the country is bracing itself for a more abrupt transition out of its Communist doldrums.

Castro's legacy
map by Marie Joveneau

Featured briefing

Robots call for a creative workforce
by Corrado Clini, Arvea Marieni

New technology creates more jobs than it destroys. Job losses can be offset by employment growth in areas such as computing, math and engineering. Every robot worker will need a maker, a manager and a maintenance person. 

Keeping business in the family
by Danilo Zatta

Family businesses in emerging markets are different from those in developed countries. They benefit from a greater sense of cohesion. With proper planning they will be instrumental in powering economies that are struggling with the decline of big industry. 


Food aid and famine
by Giacomo Manca

Investing in the agricultural industry would seem like an obvious way of dealing with hunger and poverty in Africa. Unfortunately, that aid – with its attendant ecological disruptions and land grabs – may spell doom for the continent.


Strozzapreti soap operas
by Gianluca Comin

Italian TV and films are flourishing well beyond the peninsula. Often dealing with the dark reality of life in Italy, they are reviving an already rich cinematic tradition.

Warming bloopers

Polar meltdowns and hungry reindeer
by Carlo Clini

As the temperature at the poles rises, so do the water levels throughout the rest of the world. One of the first victims is the reindeer population. The rest of the world will no doubt follow.