n.51 January/February 2014

East 51 will be on sale at newsagents from January 2nd with a new price - €8 - a new format and a new editor in chief, James Hansen, who aims to provide improved quality and an exclusive, original and surprising take on global geopolitics.

East 51 introduces the new “Diplomacy” section which looks at the many changes overwhelming the Foreign Ministries and official diplomacies now having to compete with the “new diplomats” in NGOs, the major banks and the multinational corporations – with their less academic and more cutting edge methods….

In this issue Bill Emmott explains why the Economic Crisis is not just a question of money. And then, the European Union has Communications problems, while the Mafia has developed a fool proof way of getting its message across.

In the meantime, New Pirates are ploughing the waves in contexts where Good and Evil are blurred and the crime of ship stealing is hard to punish. Surprising issues like the citizenship of animals, the ownership of resources in space and Catalonian independence are dismaying official Diplomacies.

A special Dossier takes a look at the High Seas. Three quarters of the world’s surface is covered by water and Waterways speed up exchanges and communications, fostering development and transformation.

Singapore, Montevideo, Cairo and Damascus have plenty of room in this issue. A Pakistani Doctor Strangelove has been spotted in London, triggering alarm about the spread of atomic weapons, a new generation of Moslem comics is learning how to have a laugh with Allah and American researchers have developed algorithms for Imperial Mathematics that appear to successfully predict the rise and fall of empires.


The article "The euro without Europe', which appeared in East 51, mistakenly referred to the introduction of the European currency in Estonia in 2014. The Baltic country adopting the euro this year is instead Latvia.

The East Newsdesk.




Read some of this issue's articles in full


East is not a weekly and must take the long view. We cannot allow ourselves to be overly influenced by incidental breaking news, even when this is important. Still, it is hard not to be swayed by the nuclear “compromise” - if that is the word - recently reached between Iran on the one hand and the US, UK, France, Russia, China and Germany on the other.


Analysing the shifts in worldwide wealth production can be very helpful when discussing wage distribution within individual societies.


After a short suspension due to Washington’s troubles about reaching a bipartisan agreement on how to raise its debt ceiling, transatlantic talks over a much touted free-trade deal were kickstarted once again in November.

The search for ‘elusive perfection’ in EU texts is necessary – and limiting.

 Humanoid robots will be living in our homes and taking care of us sooner than we think.

 Citizenship for humans is not much older than the French Revolution – and we’re already granting it to animals.

 Kosovo and Montenegro have adopted the euro without joining the European Union.

 A tax revolt in the prosperous Spanish region has become a powerful secessionist movement that’s challenging the government.

Foggy Germany, with little sun, has five times the solar energy capacity of Spain.

 The surveillance scandal is America’s moral Waterloo.

 Oil, gas and greed fuel tensions on the island while reunification is still a distant prospect.

 Turkish powerships, huge floating generators, supply electricity to countries that have none or too little.

Why a Facebook ‘like’ is no substitute for courage.

 Two researchers at Oxford show that, between nations as between mafiosi, blackmail is the tie that binds.

 Formal calling cards once allowed diplomats and officials who detested one another to maintain warm relations.

Diplomats, the combatants who "conduct war by other means" – von Clausewitz's famous dictum logically cuts both ways – need physical as well as mental discipline

 The icy Artic shipping route above Russia may be warming, but sailing it takes a stout heart

Have contributed to this issue:
Andrea Affaticati
Anne Allen
Ezio Arcangelo
Claudia Astarita
Emily Backus
Shyam Bhatia
Paolo Campana
James Christian
Pino Creanza
Peter de Vrai
James Fontanella Khan
Luis Foyle
Jean Gaumy
Mara Gergolet
Francesco Guarascio
Diletta Guidi
James Hansen
Tim Hindle
Andrew Jackson
Chris Jameson
Riccardo Liberatore
Maria-Paz Lopez
Aaron Maines
Giuseppe Mancini
Carmi Mazzucchi
Sonia Montrella
Stella Morgana
Mana Neyestani
Jacopo Pasotti
Matteo Patrono
Alberto Piccinini
Silvia Ragusa
Elisabeth Roman
Farian Sabahi
Tommaso Sacconi
Giulia Sbarigia
Giuseppe Scognamiglio
Alessandra Spalletta
Eric Sylvers
Marie-Noelle Terrisse
Cecilia Tosi
Alessandro Ursic
Boyd Van Hoeij
Stefano Vergine