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

James I: The Court at Play

Professor Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 18 September 2019 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Everyone Expects the Spanish Inquisition: The Making of Spain’s 'Black Legend'

Professor Alec Ryrie FBA
Wednesday, 25 September 2019 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Human Traffic: Race and Post-War Migration Policy

David Olusoga OBE
Tuesday, 1 October 2019 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

1667 and The Royal Society: A Manifesto for the Future

Dr Patricia Fara
Tuesday, 8 October 2019 - 6:00PM
WATCHED

Sir Joseph Bazalgette (1819-1891) And the Cleansing of the Victorian Metropolis

Dr Stephen Halliday
Wednesday, 9 October 2019 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Slavery, Memory and Reparations

Olivette Otele
Monday, 14 October 2019 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

The Weimar Republic: Germany's First Democracy

Professor Sir Richard Evans FBA
Tuesday, 18 June 2019 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Sir Thomas Gresham 1519–2019

Dr John Guy
Thursday, 13 June 2019 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

The Treaty of Versailles: A Hundred Years Later

Professor Margaret MacMillan
Tuesday, 4 June 2019 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Aristotle's Lyceum

Professor Edith Hall
Thursday, 30 May 2019 - 1:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

The Cockney Romantics: John Keats and his Friends

Professor Sir Jonathan Bate CBE FBA
Tuesday, 14 May 2019 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Gresham's Exchange

Professor Stephen Alford
Wednesday, 8 May 2019 - 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

Why Do You Use The Word Victim Rather Than Survivor?

Professor Joanna Bourke
Wednesday, 22 November 2017 - 6:58PM
WATCHED

From 1911-31, To What Extent Do You Think There Was A One-Way Conversation Between Western and Chinese Art and Why?

Professor Craig Clunas
Monday, 20 November 2017 - 1:58PM
WATCHED

An architect points out a possible contradiction...

Professor Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 1 February 2017 - 6:59PM
WATCHED

Most Buildings We Revere Are Designed By Craftsman And Not Architects

Professor Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 1 February 2017 - 6:55PM
WATCHED

Why Is Sir Walter Scott Not In Popular Culture Today?

Dr Juliet Shields
Tuesday, 17 January 2017 - 1:59PM
WATCHED

The English Image of Scotland Prior to Sir Walter Scott's Writing

Dr Juliet Shields
Tuesday, 17 January 2017 - 1:58PM