An Emirates Airbus A380 at Dubai International Airport, July 2008. (Jumana El Heloueh / Reuters)
The Persian Gulf's state-owned airlines are already major global brands associated with hospitality, convenience, and safety. And even as conflicts rage nearby, they're still ascending. Their arrival has been to the airline business -- and could be to regional politics -- what the dreadnought battleship was to naval supremacy: a game changer.
The days of Swedish exceptionalism are over. The country no longer has an exceptionally strong social democracy. Its level of inequality is no longer exceptionally low, and its level of public spending will no longer be exceptionally high. From now on, it will be closer to average.
Whether or not the Scottish independence movement succeeds, Scotland will not be Europe's last region to seek a similar deal. The protective embrace of the EU has made secession an attractive option for any place with a regional identity, ambitious politicians, and a loathing of its capital city.