Longitude #68

February, 2017


Cover story

The empty revolutions
by Ugo Tramballi

From Gibraltar to the Strait of Hormuz, the Arab world is in the throes of chaos. Where once external forces were to blame, today the absence of external pressure has led to a fracturing among and within regional powers.

Mapping the chaos
map by Marie Joveneau
by Stash Luczkiw

Syria is pregnant with a new world order. Whether the result is stillborn or a thriving new geopolitical arrangement will depend largely on how Donald Trump deals with the ascendant powers that have benefitted from the war.

Iran loses its linchpin
by Shahram Bahadori

A giant in Iranian politics, Hashemi Rafsanjani, has died. He played a number of roles throughout his long career, but whatever happened at the highest rungs of Iranian politics, you could be sure his influence was there.

The Lybian power struggle
by Carlo Jean

A UN brokered solution to the chaos in Libya does not seem to be working. With Russia now involved and a new US president, an about-face with respect to which faction should be supported might be the best solution.

The Orientalist

Talks in a wasteland called peace
by Ugo Tramballi

Russia is now the main player in the Syrian peace talks. In an attempt to return to the world stage, Moscow has thrust itself into a position that proved very difficult for its predecessors in the region.

Featured briefing

The brave new beginning
by Stefano Cingolani

The totally unexpected is now upon us. Trump is in office and the entire world is waiting to see how his presidency pans out. The only thing that can safely be said is that the entire journey has been unprecedented.

The Trump effect beyond the wall
by Maurizio Stefanini

Paradoxically, both populist and liberal governments in Latin America are drawing inspiration from US events: one in the name of opposition to what the US was in the past, the other in the name of opposition to what the US could become under Trump.

Global trade

Xi Da Da, the global uncle
by Fabrizio Franciosi

As protectionists gain the upper hand in the developed world, China’s Xi Jinping is coming to be seen as a champion of free trade. With the US retreating, Beijing 
is poised to step into the vacuum created, even to the point of replacing Uncle Sam with their own version. 


Charting the debt strategy
map by Marie Joveneau

Industry 4.0

Domotics now
by Enrico Verga

As technology advances, societies with a technological edge will move beyond those that have been catching up solely through cheap labor, thus modifying the economic hierarchy of nations and the relationship between governments and the workforce.

Segmenting the global high-tech market
map by Marie Joveneau
The ability to change
by Roberto Spingardi

It takes leadership both to create a new enterprise or simply maintain a thriving one. Prioritizing financial results while maintaining a sense of involvement and enthusiasm are important skills. 

The right way for governments to upgrade
by Danilo Zatta

Technology transformations are an important way for governments to become more efficient. The digital magic of the IT revolution will only work if it is arranged in a core system that can adapt to the rapid changes in technology.



Reality warp
by Gianluca Comin

In this age of fake news and outright lies, fact-checking isn’t enough for businesses. Protecting a company’s reputation involves implementing a full post-truth strategy.

Warming bloopers

From worst polluter to cleaner investor
by Carlo Clini

China is in the midst of a renewable energy revolution. Plagued by growing air pollution and the need to import fossil fuels from abroad, Beijing’s energy strategy is beginning to pay off both economically and environmentally.