Longitude #78/79

February, 2018


Cover story

The year of optimism
by Stefano Cingolani

The economic and political scenarios are showing positive signs that the worst of the global recession is behind us and future geopolitical tensions on the way to being resolved or at least contained. The question everyone asks is, will it last?

On the up
map by Marie Joveneau
Domestic incentives for global supremacy
by Giovanni Tria

The real effects of the controversial tax reform will become evident with time and there are intellectual heavyweights on either side of the debate. The issue at the heart of the reform is the challenge that America poses the world’s economic powers in the race at claiming global economic dominance.

Careful what you wish for
by Paolo Savona

This article from the book “Why Democracy, State, and Market failed to protect individual freedoms” (2017) is a cultural and psychological explanation of the rising expectations of individuals, and the perennial disequilibrium of markets and democracies.

A brighter future for the land of the rising sun
by Mario Vattani

As the balance swings from West to East, a new Emperor will soon ascend the Chrysanthemum throne, while Tokyo rethinks its global strategy.

Indo-Pacific challenges
map by Marie Joveneau
India's surprising leap forward
by Stefania Tucci

India has surpassed its old colonial master and is standing tall and proud. Becoming the world’s fifth largest economy, will bring inevitable modernization and wealth to the country, but it still needs a great deal of refurbishment if it is to fulfill its economic potential in the global rankings.


Collateral crypto-damages
by Maurizio Stefanini

The explosion of cryptocurrency values has stirred great interest not only amongst individual miners but at State level as well. Seen as a panacea for failed countries and rogue oligarchs left unchecked it could spell the end of hegemonic currency control or be squashed by those it challenges.

Featured briefing

A poor but powerful military player
by Ugo Tramballi

The protests in Iran asking for reforms and stability are at odds with the ruling theocratic regime of an economically backward country. Yet they are the reaction of a population that feels threatened by the geopolitical ambitions and expensive foreign military engagements of its leaders.

Is something bigger on the rise?
map by Marie Joveneau
The temporary supreme leader
by Shahram Bahadori

The internal conflicts and subversive power plays within the regime’s clerical elite as well as between conservatives and reformists have come to the fore. 
The outcome is not only destabilizing for the government but has the potential of casting doubt on the very legitimacy of the supreme leader. 

The Orientalist

Disengaging from the Middle Eastern quagmire
by Ugo Tramballi

In doubt over whether to support the Israeli-Palestinian peace process that has never really started or abandoning a futile effort, the US President has chosen the latter.

Latin America

Déjà vu for the middle class in Chile
by Nicolò Tassoni Estense

The conservative billionaire Sebastian Pinera’s election victory is part of a wider regional trend reshaping the political geography of Latin America. His challenge is to transform the productive model of the country’s economy based primarily on raw material exports.

The world's most violent region
by Giorgio Malfatti di Monte Tretto

Criminality and violence negatively impacts the lives of victims and protagonists but in the case of Latin America, has created a situation that is detrimental to the economic growth of the region. Creating an irremovable perception of danger in the minds of its population.


The voice is mightier than the pen
by Gianluca Comin

A strong command of oral communication has never been more important than in today’s multimedia world. The voice of an orator adds the sort of hues that the written word cannot hope to convey.

Warming bloopers

Escaping from natural disasters
by Carlo Clini

Defining refugee status is complicated when the leading cause is environmental degradation due to climate change. Yet these waves of natural disasters are likely to worsen and we need to prepare ourselves to deal with the millions of incoming migrants that will likely follow.