Longitude #81

April, 2018


Cover story

The good,the bad and the ugly Americans
by Stash Luczkiw

What will Putin’s legacy be? In the West he is reviled, albeit admiringly. At home he is lionized, despite the awareness that Russia is marching into a dangerous period of national trial. Ultimately it is Putin’s fate, more than any other leader, that will embody the direction of the world in the 21st century.

Putin's realm
map by Marie Joveneau

The Orientalist

Putin's need to stay at the table
by Ugo Tramballi

Despite not wanting to find himself too deeply involved in the Syrian debacle, Putin has gone too far to retreat gracefully. Either he manages to pull it off to great political kudos, or he will get bogged down in the Levant.


The new Silk Road, and a lot more
by Stefania Tucci

The Belt Road Initiative, is a visionary project, and with its massive scope connecting over 60% of the world’s population and America’s retreat from the region, China stands to relaunch itself as the great engine of integrated development with the rest of Eurasia.

Redrawing the Silk Road
map by Marie Joveneau


Italy on the brink
by Stefano Cingolani

The risk of Italy being governed by anti-european forces is palpable. It is especially worrisome as this could lead one of the founding fathers of the Union onto the outside edge along with Greece. The weakening of this strategic position – 70 years in the making – as one of the pillars of the European project, would lead to dire consequences for the continent.

Italy's peculiar style of populism
by Angelo Baiocchi

The last few years have seen the rise of anti-establishment parties in Europe, however none have taken power in the major EU member nations. Italy despite being one of the founding nations could soon change that. One of the reasons for this is the peculiar lack of national identity that has created a specific Italian form of populism.

Featured briefing

Just the tip of the iceberg
by Giuseppe Alessandro Veltri

Despite Zuckerberg’s stellar performance at the Senate committee hearing in which he was barely challenged, and the recovery of Facebook’s stock value following the crash, a new stage has begun in which big tech will be held to task on not delivering the safe and wonderous interconnected world they promised.

Silicon Valley fundamentalists
by Enrico Verga

The home of Big Tech which has given birth to world changing inventions has become the cradle of a new form of fundamentalist bias shrouded in political correctness. The first to denounce it have been the big names amongst the original founders and investors.

Bubbling over
map by Marie Joveneau

Global issues

A matter of perspective
by Umberto Vattani

Situated in a magic location on the enchanting Venetian island of San Servolo, the Venice International University offers a new academic model, inviting collaboration and dialogue in a communal campus where a collection of universities from all over the world addres toghether and on a level footing, the issues of a new globalized era.

Bad oil fries Asian fisheries
by Silvia Vaghi

One of the most significant oil spills in recent history has gone by nearly unnoticed by international media yet the 110,000 tonnes of colourless highly toxic condensate could harm vast areas of one of the richest fisheries areas in the world.

Latin America

The case of Alberto Fujimori
by Giorgio Malfatti di Monte Tretto

The long and tortuous political history of Alberto Fujimori is clouded in violence and corruption scandals, but the people of Peru are still divided on whether he was simply a ferocious and dishonest dictator or whether he helped bring the country to new prosperity and peace by using unorthodox and brutal methods in fighting terrorism.


The eyes have it
by Gianluca Comin

Digital communication platforms and social media  have not replaced the need to establish an empathic relationship with clients or workers. The human touch is still necessary to gain trust and acceptance.

Warming bloopers

Easter Island's erosion headache
by Carlo Clini

Global warming and rising sea levels are gnawing at the edges of Easter Island. The problem is that the misterious Moai that have made the island famous throghout the world are mostly placed along the coastline.