n.9 April 2006
Scheduled to take place on 22 and 23 June at the Palazzo Ducale in Venice, the first Forum on the process of European enlargement is being promoted by east, the Venice 2000 Foundation, UniCredit and the City of Venice. Called “Una nuova ragione per l’Europa” (A new reason for Europe), the event will be held annually; the participants will include politicians, economists, intellectuals and journalists in the old as well as the so-called New Europe. The name has not been chosen at random: the objective of Europe’s founding fathers, “Never again shall there be wars among us”, has been reached and the task is now to identify the pillar that will support the Union in the next phase.
Speakers at the Forum will include EU commissioners, businessmen, economists, academics and representatives of European social and cultural life. However, this will not be a stuffy and reticent debate: the organisers’ intention is to tackle the real issues of the process of constructing Europe in unambiguous language. For this reason, the Forum will also host movements, associations and representatives of the worlds of science and culture. The detailed programme of the event and the speakers will be posted as soon as it is available on eastonline, the website of the magazine, which went online in March. east readers are invited to participate in large numbers according to the procedure that will be explained shortly.
The Dossier of this issue of the magazine is dedicated to a significant theme in globalisation: the theme of freedoms and political and civil rights. We tackle this issue with a number of interviews – with Stefano Rodotà, one of the leading Italian experts on the subject, the Jewish intellectual George Steiner and a traditional opponent of the Iranian regime, Mehrangiz Kar. The Dossier also contains two new Civis Society Index reports on Germany and Bulgaria.
The cover story focuses once again on China. The “China Diary” is based on travel notes by one of the best-known Italian sociologists and a contributor to east since the very first issue: Aldo Bonomi.
by Fabrizio Onida
Patriotism or nationalism? In the past months news headlines have highlighted a not altogether new paradox in recent history. There is not an emerging or developed country which does not have agencies and advertising campaigns geared to attracting inward foreign investment, perhaps trying to inch their way up the rankings of the surveys on competitiveness and appeal periodically carried out by such independent observers as the World Economic Forum or IMD Lausanne.
An Italian sociologist’s notes from a visit to China with a group of furniture manufacturers from Brianza. The impact with the power of the Chinese economic model. Initial openings to globalization’s flows. Analysis of strengths and weaknesses. Comments on a society which is growing tumultuously and with many contradictions and which, in the not too distant future, ...
Russia is now one of China’s main oil suppliers. The news is that it will soon become a leading supplier of China’s gas as well. In the Putin era relations between the two countries have grown enormously, with a strong focus on energy cooperation. But Moscow does not want to stop at supplying raw materials and is now proposing to be an all-round trade partner.
Domestic consumption is now in excess of $500 billion and gross fixed investments total $200 billion a year. Imports grew by 210% from 2000 to 2004. Results that place India among the world’s top 10 economies. GDP, however, is still low and the economic structure is in need of some essential reforms such as a more positive attitude towards foreign investors...