N.13 February 2007

Leafing through the latest issue of east, readers will immediately note two changes. The first is that we’re now in color.

The second that we’ve crossed the 200-page threshold. Both suggest we’re in fine health. The magazine is acquiring its share of applause and respect from movers and shakers in worlds of culture, economics, politics and media. While newsstand sales are stable (hindered by high advertising costs), bookstore sales are up, as are subscriptions. These factors led to the decision to adopt a full color format without sacrificing contents or skimping on paper quality, now a commonplace among publications.

This issue’s Dossier focuses on India, using a non-conformist approach to probe Asia’s second-largest emerging economy. “European Champions” affords a glimpse into large continental companies that are beginning to make a mark in industry, finance, and the services sector. We also examine the problematic relations between church and state in Communist-era regimes, as well as the political dilemmas faced by Russian President Vladimir Putin who is up for re-election.

We also continue with the theme, introduced in last issue’s Dossier, of the meaning of lay values, with an editorial by Massimo Cacciari and an interview with Piergiorgio Odifreddi, a mathematician and thinker with uniquely personal views.

Finally, Randa Mirza’s evocative photo essay on Lebanon deserves close attention. It provides a rich and powerful portrait of a city at war. Also worth noting is Monika Bulaj’s report on the Roma of the former Yugoslavia, a story told in words and pictures.

Happy reading.




To assert the secularism of the State is, if we are speaking at least seriously if not “scientifically”, like saying trees are made of wood. In fact, over and above all, the idea of secularism is inherent in the very concept of Statehood, in its historic provenance, i.e. in its radical distinction not only from the classic polis, but also from the civitas latina and the medieval Christian res publica.

Politics depends more and more on global indicators. Which data are really important, though? This is the paradox of the future: do-it-yourself statistics for global comparisons. After insects, penguins and cloistered monks, the next big-screen stars could be numbers: the dry, dull data of world statistics presented in such an interesting and dynamic way that even the masses will be entertained.

Public opinion is often bombarded with plenty of statistics about “national systems” that say everything – and the opposite of everything. How do you find your way around in this bedlam? And how is the Italy System positioned in a European context? east talked to Roberto Monducci, the central Director of ISTAT. Who explains why an indicator of competitive synthesis does not exist. And that indicators over recent years, in any case, have been anything but comforting...

The Catholic hierarchy is deeply embarrassed because the scandal in Poland is having a negative effect on the Church’s image as a resolute opponent of Communism. But while revelations continue to emerge from the archives, the Bishops’ Conference has admitted its responsibility. For the case in Poland is certainly not the only one. Similar cases are emerging throughout the ex-communist world, and confessions are implicated everywhere

Have contributed to this issue:
Antonio Barbangelo
Silvia Bruschieri
Monika Bulaj
Massimo Cacciari
Sasa Carpaneda
Carmelina Carluzzo
Stefano Chiarlone
Alessandra Cipolla
Simone Cofferati
Matteo Ferrazzi
Giampietro Garioni
Saibal Gosh
Hans Holzhacker
Sanja Lucic Bianchi
Carlotta Magnanini
Marzia Mongiorgi
Marco Montanari
Franco Mosconi
Francesca Nenci
Fernando Orlandi
Silvia Sartori
Piero Sinatti
Donato Speroni
Danilo Taino
Maria Elena Viggiano
Guido Vigna
Vittorio Borelli