Maurizio Raeli

Ciheam Bari Director


As Director of CIHEAM Bari, I am very pleased to present the redesigned editorial formula and layout of this journal which has been a flagship of our Institute’s activities for more than twenty years. When it was first launched in December 1990, the journal’s name was Medit. The opening editorial of the first issue, entitled “Why Medit?” was written by Cosimo Lacirignola, then Director of CIHEAM Bari and Editor-in-Chief of the journal, who has recently passed away. His ideas for the new journal mirrored his peculiar view of a Mediterranean cooperation and dialogue for which he tirelessly strived along his whole career. “Why Medit?” explained how the journal intended to represent the evolution of a path of dialogue in the Mediterranean scientific and institutional scenario; its aim was to go beyond information in order to foster an exchange of views and knowledge.

In 2002, the journal was redesigned and renamed New Medit; its publisher, layout and cover were changed. Since then, the journal has been published quarterly thanks to the valuable collaboration of Giulio Malorgio, full professor at the University of Bologna.

Over these years, our aim, attuned to CIHEAM’s mission, has been to provide a forum for Mediterranean scientists in order to discuss topics and themes linked to the activities carried out by our Institute.

At present, New Medit takes centre stage in the debate on the challenges raised by the need to build a sustainable future. As we shall see in the first issue of this redesigned journal, several Italian and European institutions, donors and stakeholders unanimously consider the integrated development of rural and coastal areas as key to the future of the Mediterranean area. An area whose economic, political, social and technological framework is changing at an ever-increasing rate compared to the past. An area which displays dynamics linked to both internal and external actors (governments and others) and factors, which is affected by global harmony and disharmony that are often amplified in this small region and become difficult to contain within its geographically limited boundaries.

In this context, Mediterranean communities faces several old and new challenges: sustainable management of increasingly scarce natural and marine resources, environmental degradation and effects of climate change, migrations, biodiversity protection, food security, food safety. Bearing in mind these urgent needs, we have decided to re-orient the journal in order to provide answers to the needs of the Mediterranean local communities. Our aim is to deepen, confront and discuss issues both on a theoretical and practical level. Knowledge needs to be applied for enhancing livelihood: this is a concept that we are keen to share with the research community and academia. We are firmly committed to promoting a comprehensive understanding of the political, social and economical dynamics of Mediterranean local development and to deepen how national, regional and international policies and cooperation impact on those territories.

We also intend to give new impetus to the scientific nature of the journal. We are confident that our journal, which has been meeting Scopus and ISI Web of Science index for recognition and impact factor since 2010, may be a good training ground for young scholars and researchers who are trying to tackle these issues.

My wish is to establish, together with all my colleagues involved in this process, specific editorial projects concerning the great challenges of Mediterranean sustainable development. In addition to the papers presented to us by researchers who are already part of the network, mostly coming from the southern Mediterranean and Eastern Europe, we would be very pleased to pool the contributions of other new authoritative scholars.

In fact, we believe that the possibility of providing readers with a complete overview about individual topics can capture not only the attention of “experts”, but also intrigue those who do not have expertise in the field.

This journal would like to give voice to territorial requirements so as to identify and propose tangible solutions matching local specificities as well as regional and global complexities. Information and the level of knowledge on the problems affecting the Mediterranean countries are in fact a fundamental element to start a process of development and integration.

We are aware that New Medit has very ambitious goals. In order to adapt to the “new” Mediterranean and to liaise with all the actors of this complex and rapidly changing scenario, we will count on the contribution of Debora Degl’Innocenti as Institutional Relations Manager. Furthermore, the redesigned edition of New Medit will avail of  a new Associate Editors board, including experienced researchers in the field of Mediterranean issues, and of an Advisory Honorary Board made up of representatives of international Bodies and Organizations linked to the Mediterranean area.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all the best for a fruitful work.