Lucio Caracciolo, Editor of Limes, discusses Ukraine war with FT-MBA students

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The January lecture series for the Macroeconomics class taught by Prof. Francesco Giavazzi continues with a riveting talk from the renowned expert in geopolitics.

Will the war end? That was the big question posed during the lecture on January 20 from Lucio Caracciolo, founder and editor-in-chief of Limes geopolitics magazine. The lecture was part of the Macroeconomics course by Francesco Giavazzi. 

“My easy answer is never,” he says. “It’s part of a global competition, namely between the United States, China and Russia on the leadership in this world for the foreseeable future.”

During his talk, Caracciolo painted a complex picture of the geopolitical stage on which these major global leaders are vying for control and the smaller theater in which it is playing out: Ukraine.

With maps that depicted trade, sea routes and nation alignment, he explained how the war and other areas of conflict are part of a greater ambition to gain control of ocean routes and thus trade.

Caracciolo also explains that, while the US is trying to maintain its role as the current dominant maritime power, China wants, for the first time in its history, to become one. Additionally, it wants to reclaim land that belonged to the Chinese Empire and expand its reach through its Belt and Road expansion initiative.

“So what does Russia want?” he says. “First of all, Russia is interested in control of the Northern route, the connection between the Chinese and Japanese areas of control through the Arctic to Europe and to the United States.”

Russia too has dreams of past glory, to restore its imperial reach by claiming control of former Russian empire provinces, like Ukraine, cutting it off from sea port and taking hold of the Black sea and Turkish straight and gaining access to the Mediterranean.

Students expressed praise for his enlightening talk and asked about the effectiveness of financial restrictions on Russia, the possible role of Latin America, and why China hasn’t been a maritime power in the past. In conclusion, he says, the war in Ukraine is unlikely to end soon for its role in a broader fight for global dominance.

“Sorry, it took some time to explain why this war is not ending, and I hope I’m wrong,” he finished.


SDA Bocconi School of Management

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