n.54 July/August 2014

The new issue of East Global Geopolitics is on sale at newsagents and bookshops in 21 countries

After the abdication of Juan Carlos of Spain, we look at a few modern day 'sovereigns': Turkey's Tayyip Erdoğan, criticized but apparently irreplaceable, the Hungarian Viktor Orbán, unloved abroad but hugely popular at home and the French Premier, François Hollande, unpopular most everywhere.

To add perspective, there's also a portrait of Peter the Great, the first Emperor of "all the Russias." He taxed beards, tried to teach his countrymen good manners and conquered Crimea (the first time around).

Hundreds of millions of voters have been called to elect their representatives to the Parliaments of the world's two largest democracies, India and Europe, in both cases stunning pundits with unexpected results.

A new technology samples European sentiments through the automatic analysis of Facebook posts and "tweets." Britain's legal system attempts to come to terms with Islam's incompatible Sharia law, and we look at Muslim women and the difficult choice between staying at home to cook or becoming a human bomb.

Anglo-Saxons call it money laundering. Continental Europeans refer to the phenomenon more delicately as "recycling." Either way, it's a growth sector. Willy Sutton, a famous American bank robber of the Thirties, once said that he robbed banks because "that's where the money is." He was right, but his submachine gun is passé.

This issue's dossier is dedicated to marriage, a fundamental institution undergoing radical transformation in every corner of the globe. Poligamy - multiple marriage - is far more widespread than people think. Both Barack Obama and his challenger in the last US presidential elections, Mitt Romney, come from families practicing polygamy.

Al Jazeera is conducting an unlikely invasion of the United States - at least of its commercial television market - while the burkini, an "Islamically correct" bathing costume, allows Moslem women to play on the beach without sparking male lust. Afghanistan's Mujahideen may be called to defend Earth against alien space monsters. We also pay homage to the animals who spearheaded off-world travel, including the first turtle to orbit the Moon.

It has been suggested that criminals be sentenced to 'cognitive' jail terms, subjectively doing life sentences in a single night while locked in a terrifying prison of the mind: an endless - and sadistic - punishment that could save tax payers bundles of money.

Counter-terrorism now has its own trade fair in London. Urumqi – the largest metropolis you've never heard of – may be interested in the anti-terrorist landscaping and bomb-proof manhole covers on offer. The city, again the capital of the Silk Route after a thousand years of obscurity, doesn't want violent ethnic unrest to get in the way of business.


Read some of this issue's articles in full



The most famous of American bank robbers – Willy Sutton, active in the 1930s – when finally captured was asked by police why he robbed banks. He replied: "Because that's where the money is."

A light East European vote backs the Union as well.

RIGHT TO BE FORGOTTEN Did you wish you'd never posted that picture of yourself drunk on Facebook, the one that was later shared hundreds of times by your friends?

The world's best architects compete to please and surprise visitors.

A Hewlett-Packard futurologist looks at the coming 'Age of Scarcity'.

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Unhappy electors forced the head of state to entrust his government to a potential rival more popular than he.

When is it correct to halve the inheritances of widows and to exclude bastards from wills?

Counter-terrorism today is nearly as big as the pharmaceutical sector.

The German capital, even without 'that' wall, finds ways to shut out the world.

Even if you don't like "Orbanism," Hungary's economy works again.

A hundred years that began with blood ends in renewed civil strife.

Building a career on five languages and... a hamburger.

If he wants the job, the country's first directly elected President can be Tayyip Erdoğan.

Turkey's Prime Minister is under fire yet, so far, irreplaceable.

Russia's first Emperor taxed beards, brought manners to Moscow, and made the Ukraine part of his Empire...

East speaks with John Peet, Europe Editor of The Economist.

Have contributed to this issue:
Giuliano Amato
Aniseh Bassiri Tabrizi
Lorenzo Bellettini
Mauro Broggi
Amo Carpentier
Jennifer Clark
Emanuele Colombo
Alessandro D’Ausilio
Stefania Dal Maso
Michelle Alexandra De Le Bois
Giuliana De Vivo
Tatijana Dordevic
Christopher Emsden
Manus Flanagan
Claudia Flisi
James Fontanella Khan
Marco Fosci
Luis Foyle
Stefano Grassi
Mateen Greenway
Francesco Guarascio
Diletta Guidi
James Hansen
Emanuela Hernandez
Tom Highway
Timothy Hindle
Jade Martin
Carmi Mazzucchi
Matteo Miavaldi
Stella Morgana
Mana Neyestani
George Nicholas
Marta Ottaviani
Soli Ozel
Matteo Patrono
Stefania Pensabene
Anna Piccarda Lazzarin
Alberto Piccinini
Nicoletta Pisanu
Elisabeth Roman
Cosimo Rossi
Giancarlo Schirru
Giuseppe Scognamiglio
James Stafford
Alessandro Ursic
Boyd Van Hoeij
Arianna Tandy
Marie-Noelle Terrisse