The planet is in dire need of global governance to restore balance to a model of development that continues to penalize the world’s South, stem the trend towards environmental degradation, manage financial crises such as the subprime crisis, channel major migratory flows and rethink private and public ethics that reckon with the acquisitions and potential of science: except that the more public opinion becomes aware of the problem, the more the solution seems to move further away because of the short-sightedness and inconsistency of most of the world’s political leaders.What is to be done? Donato Speroni, James M. Boughton and Colin I. Bradford attempt a response to the question in the report on page 23. The dossier of this eighteenth issue of east focuses on Kazakhstan, the big Central Asian country that has become the target of “special” attention, whether economic, political or strategic, from West and East alike. Economists and scholars in various fields have contributed to the dossier, namely Elena Fenili, Francesca Nenci, Vladimir Osakovsky, Hans Holzhacker and Fabrizio Coricelli. The wide-ranging editorial by the chief executive of the Banca d’Italia, Fabrizio Saccomanni, focuses on the turbulence the subprime crisis has caused in the global financial scenario. Written before the steep stock exchange downturn end-January, the article provides in-depth analysis of the fundamental reasons for the crisis and outlines the steps that watchdog organisations are taking to forestall “surprises” of this kind. Finally, we have an exclusive: Claudia Astarita’s interview with Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-Kiun, the primate of the Catholic Church in China. The cardinal sketches a serene but forthright picture of the state of relations between Pope Benedict XVI’s Church and the Chinese government on the eve of the Olympics.