n.44 October 2012

You’ll find novelist Jack Kerouac’s familiar words “On the Road” leading off our October issue. To us, the road has two separate and distinct destinations. In our Dossier section, we cover the plight of migrant workers worldwide, while in American Snapshot section we examine aspects of American foreign policy as the United States prepares to go to the polls in an electoral battle that pits sitting President Barack Obama against Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

The mention of Kerouac is hardly incidental, not with the release of Walter Salles’ recent film that attempts to recreate the seminal novel that suggests the idea of travel as a geographical form of self-discovery.

Westerners tend to see travel that way, as an inner journey. But for others, “On the Road” has a far more arduous meaning. That’s what led us to unite dramatically different themes under one headline that possesses both literal and symbolic significance. Our “America Votes” section doesn’t so much address the candidates as it does where American might be headed in terms of its European and eastern ties.

We open with a piece by acclaimed academic James Walston, who focuses on U.S. relations with the EU. Astrit Dakli probes how Washington is dealing with the Caucuses while Farian Sabahi examines the volatile Middle East, as does Maria Cuffaro in her editorial. Meanwhile, Giuliana Sgrena takes stock of America’s Afghanistan woes while Paola Caridi looks into the Israeli-Palestine question. Closing out the special section is a report by Jonas Parello-Plesner, a senior policy fellow with the European Council on Foreign Relations.

Our Dossier section is titled “The Migrant Plight” and begins with a probing report by Francesco Guarascio, who suggests fears of a European migrant “invasion” are overstated. The “Inner Voices” column belongs to Davide Rubini, who works in Brussels with Norwegian oil and gas company Statoil. He tells of a year spent in Stavanger, an appropriate story since we can all be migrants, whatever our destination. The Chinese, for example, are flooding into Africa, as Lia Quartapelle notes. Then there’s reverse migration, with people leaving Spain to escape the economic downturn, as chronicled by Flavio Fusi.

Regarding the future of Europe, we offer a penetrating essay by Giuseppe Scognamiglio, who attempts to lay out just what the European Central Bank needs to do to keep the European monetary union afloat.

Our photo essay, “Fortress Europe,” contains images by Giovanni Cocco for the VII Agency. Cocco traveled to two borders, between Turkey and Greece, and Spain and Morocco, to document the status of would-be immigrants.

We offer our usual columns: Roberto Santaniello’s Western Shore and Stefano Bottoni’s Eastern Shore, which offer insights into EU policy. Manuela Dviri adds her Notes from Tel Aviv. You’ll also find Francesca Lancini’s That’s Incredible and Carlotta Magnanini’s By the Numbers.

We remind readers that they can find east at both newsstands and in bookstores, but that print or PDF subscription are available at the website or by filling out the form inside this issue. East is a great Christmas gift, so why not send a subscription to friends and family? The holidays are just around the corner. Why not take advantage of them?

Happy Reading

Emanuele Bevilacqua


On Sept. 14, 2012, thousands of Muslim men took to the streets to shout out their  anger and frustration. After their last prayers, they rose from their assigned genuflection to march and chant anti-American slogans.


Though the European Central Bank says it will defend euro using all available means, the monetary union still badly needs concrete policy decisions by European governments.

Unlike  four  years  ago,  when  superstar  Barack  Obama  ruled  the  media  waves, europe  seems  less interested in the direction of U.s. foreign policy.

The United States continues to blunder ahead in its support of Georgia, but the prospect of a war with Iran may well lead to a shuffling of the Caucuses deck.

China faces uncertainty in the upper echelons of its vaunted party structure as it prepares to change leadership,  outlining  unexpected  weaknesses  in a system that once seemed unassailable.

As the United states prepares to pull out of Afghanistan, President Barack Obama, facing november reelection, continues hedging his bets on just how involved his country intends to be in Kabul’s future.

Despite recent violence, the future of U.S. Middle East policy will depend on a careful assessment of events in at least a dozen regional states.

The  enduring  duel  between  Palestine  and  Israel is  taking  a  back  seat  to  civil  war  in  Syria  and institutional change in Egypt, but both are likely to  have  an  impact  on  what  remains  the  Middle East's most troubling issue.

Longtime  enemies,  Greece  and  Turkey  are  gradually  developing  lasting  practical  bonds  that  may actually help Athens escape the worst of the euro crisis.


The creation of a Palestinian state seems to have fallen onto a backburner, with extremism and apathy hindering forward progress.


Acclaimed Israeli author Amos Oz says the two-state model is the only solution to the Israel-Palestinian problem, if only both sides would learn to compromise.

Israel's brutal summer temperatures and widespread brushfires cut deeper than just the tone of the weather.


Though Euro-populist parties continue to claim the continent is under siege from illegal aliens, data  suggests  a  less  imposing  flow.  But  the figures  have  done  little  to  change  negative public perception.

have to confess I don't know exactly what Norway is, but it's certainly not a place. Nor a country. Not even an outline on a map. It's something that lives inside the mind of a people who can't tell you what evil is, that doesn't know malice toward others, that interprets all that happens day-to-day as the necessary result of a higher order dictated by a shared knowledge based on the values of a community or a village

Economically crippled Spain, once a promised land, is now encouraging tens of thousands of oncehopeful Latin and South American immigrants to return home.

Have contributed to this issue:
Claudia Astarita
Antonio Barbangelo
Luisa Betti
Emanuele Bevilacqua
Stefano Bottoni
Paola Caridi
Maria Cuffaro
Astrit Dakli
Manuela Dviri
Antonio Ferrari
Flavio Fusi
Alessandra Garusi
Marina Gersony
Francesco Guarascio
Lev Gudkov
Francesca Lancini
Carlotta Magnanini
Marta Ottaviani
Jonas Parello -Plesner
Lia Quartapelle
Constanze Reuscher
Davide Rubini
Farian Sabahi
Roberto Santaniello
Giuseppe Scognamiglio
Giuliana Sgrena
James Walston
Lija Zhang