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Trust, but VerifyThe Politics of Uncertainty and the Transformation of the Cold War Order, 1969-1991$
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Martin Klimke, Reinhild Kreis, and Christian F. Ostermann

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780804798099

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804798099.001.0001

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Institutionalizing Trust? Regular Summitry (G7s and European Councils) from the Mid-1970s until the Mid-1980s

Institutionalizing Trust? Regular Summitry (G7s and European Councils) from the Mid-1970s until the Mid-1980s

Chapter:
(p.198) 9. Institutionalizing Trust? Regular Summitry (G7s and European Councils) from the Mid-1970s until the Mid-1980s
Source:
Trust, but Verify
Author(s):

Noël Bonhomme

Emmanuel Mourlon-Druol

Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804798099.003.0010

This chapter describes how the maintenance and fostering of trust was a crucial element in founding both the G7 summits and the European Council in the mid-1970s. Deeply anchored in the strong friendship between West German chancellor Helmut Schmidt and French president Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, both initiatives sought to deepen interpersonal relations as well as recover systemic trust in the Western (economic) systems in an informal, multilateral setting. The institutionalization and frequency of these meetings not only allowed for the development of a framework of informal coordination even in the absence of trust; it also provided a platform for the socialization of new leaders and a ritualistic display of Western unity, thus addressing potential international and domestic deficits of trust by “formalizing informality.”

Keywords:   G7 summits, European Council, interpersonal relations, Western economic systems, informal coordination, Western unity, formalizing informality, trust deficits

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