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This book offers a fascinating overview of the challenges posed by the world’s new geostrategic order and likely future directions. It opens with an unconventional view of the Arab Spring, identifying its origins in the relative US withdrawal from the Middle East caused by both the need for military disengagement for economic reasons and the discovery of shale gas and tight oil in the heart of the North American continent. The rise in the geostrategic importance of Putin’s Russia is explored in this context. The implications of the worldwide economic crisis are analyzed in depth: the author’s interpretation is that the world is entering a phase of unstable growth generated by hyper financialization and deflation. Against this background, the book explores the US attempt to trigger growth through the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, the impact of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (based on the US-Australia military alliance) in restraining China’s advance, and the potential for Africa to become the driver of the world’s economic future if it can resist Chinese penetration and continue the nation-building process.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

The Terrible August of 2013

Abstract
The end of August 2013 will go down in the annals of history as an exceptional period, marking as it did a shift in the relationship between great world powers. For the first time in two centuries, the United Kingdom split from the United States over one of the crucial points of the great cultural downward spiral that has taken place in international relations over the last 20 years. I refer to the 20 years that followed in the wake of the Kissinger era after the fall of the USSR. General evidence of the theoretical and practical change came in the shape of the Balkan wars, which marked the transition from theory to practice of the end of the Westphalian period, when in salient areas of geostrategic interests, each nation was free to choose the political system it wanted, though the choosing was done by a handful of bloodthirsty dictators, and any sacrifices could be ruthlessly made. Only areas of the world deemed irrelevant to the world balance could deploy their not-so-secret Westphalian troops in local and intelligence struggles to maintain the balance of terror: Che Guevara in the Congo and Colonel Taylor in Sierra Leone behaved like the fictional characters in Le Carré’s novels.
Giulio Sapelli

Start of the Mediterranean Crisis

Abstract
Yet the plight of the Mediterranean area remains extremely serious. Everything began with events that appeared—to most people—to be auspicious for reconstruction. The wave of collective mobilisation that struck North Africa is like a huge flock of birds blotting out the sky. From afar, their solid mass is strikingly oppressive: they look like the grey sky in a Permeke painting. But as soon as we see the flock from closer up, our perspective changes.
Giulio Sapelli

World Economic Crisis

Abstract
The living anthropology of the Mediterranean crisis is written into the world economic crisis. But the world economy is hovering on the brink of madness. The financial crisis is nothing more than a snowball that causes an avalanche to thunder down on the houses of the national states huddled in the valley bottom.
Giulio Sapelli

The Chickens Have Come Home to Roost

Abstract
Many chickens have come home to roost throughout the world, in a day of reckoning that began on an international scale and ended up as national crisis, confirming the accuracy of theories that suggest the bond between nation and internationalisation is crucial to understanding the guiding themes of history.
Giulio Sapelli

The Old and the New Convergence

Abstract
The epoch-making events that we have been discussing are a reflection of the end of what I would call “the old convergence”, which has now disappeared. I will try to explain the concept. For many decades in economic, and historical and economic analysis, simultaneous growth on a world scale has always been considered to be a convergent process. In other words, we asked ourselves what were the factors that determined—essentially from the twentieth century—a world trend in work productivity, trade and lifestyles that gradually became homogeneous as well as more intense from the periphery to the centre. The convergent growth model broke down a few years ago. Superimposed graphs have been replaced by a fractal pattern of geometries that are variable, mobile, overlapping and quick to appear. It seems there is no longer a peak that can be converged on. Europe is indubitably in a terrible downward slide, militarily, first and foremost, because it was unable to turn the Franco-German armies and those that surrounded them into a new European army.
Giulio Sapelli

Responding to Strategic Divergences

Abstract
In this situation the only answer to strategic divergences can come from the recovery of geostrategic leadership. The crisis of political leadership seems increasingly, however, to be a universal phenomenon. It is not a national problem but a geostrategic problem.
Giulio Sapelli

The Challenge to Fossil Fuels and the Crushing of Convergent Growth

Abstract
In any case, this is something that we have learned from the world fossil fuel industry. It is strange to think that until about halfway through the 1970s, the USA was the largest producer and consumer of oil in the world. A unique case of energy self-sufficiency, given the fact that in those days gas did not have the extraordinary importance that it has now assumed. Most of the Western world did not, however, have that oil self-sufficiency.
Giulio Sapelli

The Future Will Be African

Abstract
Mali shares a border with Niger and Niger is the gateway to what remains of the great former Belgian Congo, divided, battered and marked by new conflict as it is.
Giulio Sapelli

Emerge from the Crisis in Europe: Change Europe

Abstract
In short, the world is changing, and at an incredible pace. We need only look at what is happening in the capital market. The towering clouds of speculation always seemed invincible: and so they were for a long time.
Giulio Sapelli
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