Device is incompatible to play the video
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
Part of a series

BBC Radio in the LP Era (1948–1982)

Professor Jeremy Summerly
Thursday, 28 January 2021 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Is There a Level Playing Field at Inquests? From Death on the Rock to the Birmingham Pub Bombings

Professor Leslie Thomas QC
Thursday, 4 February 2021 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

The Secrets of Darwin’s Greenhouse

Professor Jim Endersby
Monday, 8 February 2021 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Mata Hari: Femme Fatales

Professor Joanna Bourke FBA
Thursday, 11 February 2021 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Far From Hollywood: New Kinds of Classic Film

Professor Ian Christie FBA
Monday, 15 February 2021 - 6:00PM
WATCHED

Giotto and the Early Italian Renaissance

Dr Valerie Shrimplin
Tuesday, 16 February 2021 - 1:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

What Makes a Film Classic?

Professor Ian Christie FBA
Monday, 18 January 2021 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Amelia Dyer: Baby Killers

Professor Joanna Bourke FBA
Thursday, 14 January 2021 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

The Political Jury

Professor Thomas Grant QC
Monday, 11 January 2021 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Christmas Lies and Legends

Judith Flanders
Wednesday, 9 December 2020 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Who Investigates Sudden Death?

Professor Leslie Thomas QC
Thursday, 3 December 2020 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Making a Monkey out of Darwin

Professor Jim Endersby
Monday, 30 November 2020 - 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

Free the Nipple!

Professor Joanna Bourke FBA
Thursday, 12 March 2020 - 10:00AM
WATCHED

The World's First Scientists

Professor Edith Hall
Thursday, 20 February 2020 - 4:00PM
WATCHED

The World's First University?

Professor Edith Hall
Thursday, 23 May 2019 - 10:00AM
WATCHED

The Greatest Speech Of All Time?

Professor Edith Hall
Friday, 1 March 2019 - 10:00AM
WATCHED

What is Greek Theatre?

Professor Edith Hall
Wednesday, 28 November 2018 - 10:00AM
WATCHED

Was Sappho Really a Women?

Professor Edith Hall
Tuesday, 11 September 2018 - 10:00AM