Regular meetings of heads of state and government seem, in 2012, a common feature of international affairs. About forty years ago, however, such meetings did not really exist: ad hoc summits were the rule. Comparing the emergence of the European Council in 1974 and the G7 in 1975, this article explains why and how summitry has become routine in international politics. To do so, it examines the common roots of both summits, points out the first differences between the two institutions, and, finally, underlines the common challenges they faced and the logic they shared. Taken together, these three parts underline how, despite their obvious differences, the European Council and the G7 created a new dimension of international politics.
Published in Diplomacy & Statecraft, Volume 23, Issue 4, 2012, pp. 679-703.
The article can be downloaded here.