Most countries along the BRI are developing countries and emerging economies. They account for 31 percent of the global GDP, but constitute about 62 percent of world’s population(1). At the same time, the ecological environment is very fragile, due to the distribution of most of the global biodiversity hotspots(2). 58 percent of the world’s deserts are also concentrated in this area(3). In a certain sense, the historical Silk Road is also an international transmission channel for dust and pollutants(4).
Because of its role as an important driver of both economic and productivity growth, development and maintenance of infrastructure network are usually a major concern to political agenda. Nevertheless, there is a widespread agreement that the current investment trend may not be sufficient to meet a constantly growing demand for infrastructures, driven by the rapid development among emerging markets. Estimates by Oxford Economics point to a structural gap that, from its 2016 level of USD 372 bln, will face an yearly average growth of 3.2% until 2040.
Architecture and urbanism are definitely taking the centre stage in Saudi Arabia’s effort to increase its international outreach and visibility, as exemplified by the Kingdom’s decision to participate, for the first time, to the 2018 Venice Biennale of Architecture.
The "Indo-Pacific" is a strategic construct that arose at a time of a potential transition in the Asian security order.
The Western Indian Ocean (the Suez Canal, the Red Sea, the Bab el-Mandeb, the Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Oman, the Arabian/Persian Gulf) is the new Gulf powers’ battlefield. Saudi Arabia and Iran, as already in the Middle East, are vying for hegemony in this sub-region: the Gulf monarchies also compete for influence, especially after the 2017 Qatari crisis and Doha’s boycott by neighbours.
In the wake of the killing of more 300 Muslim worshippers by allegedly Jihadist militants during al-Rawdah massacre in November 2017, President Sisi launched a new military campaign - “Comprehensive Operation-Sinai 2018” - with the aim of putting an end to terrorism and restoring security within three months in turbulent Egypt. The military operation, which precedes the presidential election of March 26-28, 2018, has pursued growing repression of the opposition and militarization of institutions in the country.
The anti-terrorism operation carried out today in Foggia, Southern Italy, marks an important moment for Italy’s counterterrorism. The raid comes as the culmination of a longer investigation initiated by Bari’s DIGOS (the national police’s special unit, which was monitoring a small, unauthorized place of worship named Al Dawa, located near Foggia’s railway station. Indeed, two recently arrested jihadists — including a former Chechen foreign fighter — were known to have regularly attended the mosque.
Negli ultimi anni l’opinione pubblica mondiale è stata ripetutamente scossa dalla violenza e dalle immagini che hanno accompagnato mediaticamente la rapidissima ascesa ed espansione dell’autoproclamato Stato Islamico. L’attenzione dell’intelligence e del mondo accademico è stata attirata soprattutto dal fenomeno dei foreign terrorist fighters (Ftf) coinvolti nel conflitto siro-iracheno, per le modalità di attivazione e sviluppo, nonché per la mobilitazione raggiunta in brevissimo tempo.
Dopo il recente 25esimo anniversario della dichiarazione d’indipendenza dall’Unione Sovietica, un’altra importante ricorrenza si avvicina per il Turkmenistan. Il 21 dicembre 2006, infatti, scompariva Saparmyrat Nyazov, padre padrone della Repubblica centro asiatica, la cui uscita di scena spianò la strada alla salita al potere dell’attuale presidente, Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov.