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

Shakespeare's Lovers

Professor Sir Jonathan Bate CBE FBA
Tuesday, 23 January 2018 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

The Labour Party

Professor Vernon Bogdanor FBA CBE
Tuesday, 30 January 2018 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

The Fate of the October Revolution under Stalin

Professor Bob Service
Wednesday, 31 January 2018 - 6:00PM
WATCHED

Votes for Women: A Centenary Celebration

Elizabeth Crawford
Monday, 5 February 2018 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Should We Vote Online?

Professor Martyn Thomas CBE
Tuesday, 13 February 2018 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

China: Art, War and Salvation, 1933-1949

Professor Craig Clunas
Monday, 19 February 2018 - 1:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

The Age of Tyrants: Sappho via Gounod's Opera

Professor Edith Hall
Thursday, 18 January 2018 - 1:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

London Merchants and Their Residences

Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 17 January 2018 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

The Liberal Party and the Liberal Democrats

Professor Vernon Bogdanor FBA CBE
Tuesday, 12 December 2017 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

House, Shop and Wardrobe in London's Merchant Community

Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 6 December 2017 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Shakespeare's Heroes

Professor Sir Jonathan Bate CBE FBA
Tuesday, 28 November 2017 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Homer's Iliad via the Movie Troy (2004)

Professor Edith Hall
Thursday, 23 November 2017 - 1:00PM
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

An architect points out a possible contradiction...

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

Most Buildings We Revere Are Designed By Craftsman And Not Architects

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
WATCHED

Sir Walter Scott's Involvement In King George IV Visiting Scotland

Dr Juliet Shields
Tuesday, 17 January 2017 - 1:56PM
WATCHED

Was Your View Of Scotland Different Depending On Where You Were From?

Dr Juliet Shields
Tuesday, 17 January 2017 - 1:55PM