Longitude #75

October, 2017


by Pialuisa Bianco

If there were a true leader in the White House, the question regarding the North Korean nuclear threat would be: How will America fix this? 

The Orientalist

What comes up from the rubble
by Ugo Tramballi

Now that the Islamic State is on the run, the apparent vacuum in the Middle East will be filled by a variety of players – some new, some old. There is, however, one clear winner.

Cover story

The hole in the donut
by Stefano Cingolani

Thus far, the Trump presidency is noted more for its raucous breaking of all norms than for any single policy achieved. In fact, what is most notable is the new administration’s extreme ineffectuality. But this in itself could lead to problems. 

How Kim keeps the world in check
by Fabrizio Franciosi

The young leader of North Korea, like his father and grandfather before him, is playing a dangerous game. But the game’s logic is quite sound. Now both China and the US are realizing they are hamstrung, though they are reluctant to admit it.

Mutually Assured Destruction
map by Marie Joveneau
An antidote to Kim’s bombs
by Alia K. Nardini

North Korea’s erratic leader is stirring fears of nuclear war. But a detached assessment of the options available makes clear that there can be no military solution that does not involve mass destruction. Hence, diplomacy is the only way out.


by Stash Luczkiw

Those who predicted that the election of Donald Trump would lead to a rapprochement between Moscow and Washington were wrong. The momentum of history is simply stronger than one president’s political will. 

Eurasian relations at stake
by Fabrizio Franciosi

China’s relationship with Russia will determine not just the next iteration of the Great Game in Central Asia, but also the power balance in the rest of the world as the US struggles to keep its hegemony from waning.

Featured briefing

The wave of floods and droughts
by Corrado Clini

All over the world the higher temperatures associated with global warming have lead to two especially dangerous trends: less drinking water, and bigger hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones; 

Weather and water stress
map by Marie Joveneau
When aid itself leads to disaster
by Anna Bono

Well-intentioned donations meant to help people in need have created an economic ecosystem. Chronically impoverished countries, particularly in Africa, have seen some of the most egregious abuses of foreign aid.

Putting money into sun and wind
by Laura Painelli, Giuseppe Orrù

Investments in the last decade reveal an increasing interest in renewable energy. The increase in investments, the drop in production costs, and the commitment by the governments to contain greenhouse gas emissions will lay the foundations for a further expansion.


Hollywood's death knell
by Enrico Verga

There’s a revolution taking place in the entertainment industry. Movies are taking the biggest hit. Now with many of the Big Data players encroaching on Hollywood’s turf, the landscape is changing rapidly.


Managing migration with communication
by Gianluca Comin

The uproar over migration is often fed by the media’s reporting, both in the target country and in the migrants’ countries of origin. A coherent communication strategy is needed for a more rational approach the problem.

Warming bloopers

Mother Nature's martyrs
by Carlo Clini

In defending the environment against rapacious interlopers, many normal people have lost their lives. Now the United Nations is trying to raise awareness about the price 
many have paid for defending environmental causes.