Tuesday, 4 June 2013, 6:00PM
Barnard's Inn Hall

Summit Diplomacy: Some Lessons from History for 21st Century Leaders

Professor David Reynolds FBA

‘It is not easy to see how matters could be worsened by a parley at the summit.’

Winston Churchill coined the term ‘summit’ in 1950, during some of the darkest days of the Cold War. In the second half of the twentieth century summit meetings became a central element of international diplomacy – among them dramatic encounters such as Kennedy and Khrushchev at Vienna in 1961 and Reagan and Gorbachev in Reykjavik in 1986. Today summits are in the headlines all the time – for meetings of the EU, G8 and G20 – and the word is often used in other walks of life, especially in business. But there is relatively little reflection about what summit meetings are supposed to achieve or about their costs as well as benefits.

We need to take a long view of summitry, exploring why, for most of history, leaders deliberately avoided face-to-face meetings. We should look more closely at some of the classic Cold War meetings, asking why some worked and others did not. And we also need to understand how summitry has changed since the Cold War. ‘Lessons’ from the past are always tentative but this lecture suggests what twenty-first century statesmen might learn from history, if they have the time and inclination.

The third in a series of History and Policy lectures. The lectures in this series are as follows:
     What have Henry VIII and Elizabeth I got to do with 21st century development policy?
     Choosing a past for the future: Why today's environment policy is also history

professor-david-reynolds-fba

Professor of International History at Cambridge University and a Fellow of Christ’s College. Winner of the Wolfson Prize for History and a Fellow of the British Academy, he is the author of ten books, including In Command of History: Churchill Fighting and Writing the Second World War (2004) and America, Empire of Liberty: A New History (2009), which accompanied his award-winning series on BBC Radio 4.  He has also made eight historical documentaries for BBC television – several of them about premiers and presidents including Churchill, Attlee, Kennedy, Nixon and Reagan. He is a member of the History & Policy editorial advisory group.

 

Read More
Read Less

Transcript

4 June 2013

Summit Diplomacy: Some Lessons from History for 21st Century Leaders
Professor David Reynolds FBA

View PDF
Print
Related Future Lectures
Related Past Lectures
WATCHED

Ten Cities that Built an Empire: Understanding British Imperialism Through the Urban Past

Tristram Hunt MP
Wednesday, 5 October 2016 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

The Early River Thames: The Iron Age and Before

Jon Cotton
Monday, 10 October 2016 - 1:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

The Growth of London as a Port from Roman to Medieval Times

Dr Gustav Milne
Monday, 17 October 2016 - 1:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

From Sail to Steam: London's Role in a Shipbuilding Revolution

Elliott Wragg
Monday, 24 October 2016 - 1:00PM
WATCHED

Van Eyck's The Virgin with the Canon: Visual Disability and Societal Attitudes as Depicted in the Northern Renaissance

Louis Clearkin FRCS
Tuesday, 25 October 2016 - 1:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

The Port of London and its Future

Dr Katherine Riggs
Monday, 31 October 2016 - 1:00PM
WATCHED

Ten Things You Really Should Know About Ancient Greek Democracy

Professor Paul Cartledge
Tuesday, 27 September 2016 - 6:00PM
WATCHED

'The Cradle of Stonehenge'? Blick Mead - a Mesolithic Site in the Stonehenge Landscape

Professor David Jacques FSA
Wednesday, 21 September 2016 - 1:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Queen Victoria

Professor Vernon Bogdanor FBA CBE
Tuesday, 20 September 2016 - 6:00PM
WATCHED

Conspiracy Theories: A Threat to Democracy?

Professor Sir Richard Evans FBA
Thursday, 16 June 2016 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Universities: Some Policy Dilemmas

The Rt Hon the Baroness Blackstone
Thursday, 9 June 2016 - 6:00PM
WATCHED

London's Great Fire and its Aftermath

Dr Stephen Porter
Wednesday, 1 June 2016 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

The Long Shadow: The Great War and International Memory, 1914-2014

Professor David Reynolds FBA
Monday, 8 December 2014 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Conspiracy and the Two Theories of History

Professor Sir Richard Evans FBA
Thursday, 16 June 2016 - 6:30PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Faith in the state or hidden discontent?

Professor Sir Richard Evans FBA
Thursday, 16 June 2016 - 6:25PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Conspirators and the Police

Professor Sir Richard Evans FBA
Thursday, 16 June 2016 - 6:20PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Stalin’s conspiracies and dramatised propaganda

Professor Sir Richard Evans FBA
Thursday, 16 June 2016 - 6:15PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

What makes a conspiracy?

Professor Sir Richard Evans FBA
Thursday, 16 June 2016 - 6:10PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Are conspiracy theories spread by the Internet?

Professor Sir Richard Evans FBA
Thursday, 16 June 2016 - 6:05PM