Longitude #71

May, 2017


Cover story

Hard power in the 21st century
by Ugo Tramballi

Fashions come and go in politics, too. After eight years of economic crises and attempts to dial down distant wars, a new cycle in which hard power reigns is now upon us. And the consequences are huge.

World military strength
map by Marie Joveneau
A new arms race in Asia
by Fabrizio Franciosi

With heightened tensions in East Asia and the ascent of China as an economic power, it should not be surprising that Asia is experiencing an arms race. The big question is how will it affect the balance of the region.

Closer together with force
by Vincenzo Camporini

Although Europe may look like it’s cracking up, and there is no easy solution for bringing it closer together, the military is one area where cooperation could serve as a realistic binding agent.

by Stash Luczkiw

In the age of spectacle, how facts are perceived weighs as much on political decision-making as the facts themselves. This awareness, in the mind of a military hyperpower’s leadership, could upend all our notions 
of geopolitical strategy.


En Marche! marches on
by Stefano Cingolani

The conflict between a France open and integrating with a globalized world where it has less and less influence and a France retrenching to buttress its rich history and traditions just had its first major battle. Openness won, but the jury is still out. 

Making history in France
by Michele Marchi

The French election saw two outsiders to the political establishment pass into the run-off round. With a fairly predictable result, the big question is now: How will Macron manage to govern?

Featured briefing

China's global energy leadership
by Corrado Clini, Arvea Marieni

New cutting edge technology from China has the potential to revolutionize the energy industry. Allowing for the long-distance distribution of renewable energy, the Global Energy Interconnection is perhaps the best hope for environmentalists. It is also a means by which resource-poor nations with technological capacity can reap huge benefits.

New energy corridors
map by Marie Joveneau
Playing their own game
by Fabrizio Franciosi

The strategic flexibility found in China goes back to ancient times. A fundamental element of this approach is the projection of China’s cultural merits, what today is known as soft power.


Resilience, the Israelis' best weapon
by Fiamma Nierenstein

An important component of Israel’s struggle against terrorism is its population’s psychology, resilience, and capacity to counter what has unfortunately been one of the characteristics of this state from its very origins: the constant attack against civilians. 

Lessons on terrorism
by Dore Gold

Solidarity among states has become a prerequisite for succeeding in the war against jihadist terrorism. A cohesive military strategy is needed for the West, the Arab states that are threatened, and Israel. Can the Israeli model show Europe how to deal with terrorism? 

The Orientalist

The sick man amid the pyramids
by Ugo Tramballi

Egypt is in trouble. With the country still reeling from revolution and counterrevolution, President Sisi tries to keep it together 
by reverting to pharaonic policies that could set it back years, if not centuries.


Populism’s vicious economic circle
by Maurizio Stefanini

The most developed countries in the world are now being swept by a wave of populism against a sclerotic elite. Whether this populism has a coherent economic vision has yet to be determined. But it makes us wonder about what will happen if this vision of reacting for negation’s sake succeeds.

International finance

Gaming the system
by Ranieri Razzante

Market abuse is an all too common occurrence. In the EU, legislators are continually having to adapt to creative new scams. But the debate is in many respects counterproductive to saver protection. 


Twitter diplomacy for Taormina
by Gianluca Comin

Social media is becoming de rigueur even in the world of diplomacy. With Italy hosting the upcoming G-7 summit in Sicily, the ability to fire off a salvo of tweets is indispensable. 

Warming bloopers

Heavy metal fish
by Carlo Clini

Recent studies show that climate change associated with pollution has led to an increase in mercury levels found in fish. Unfortunately, lowering the levels is more complicated than just controlling emissions.