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François Mitterrand

Institutionalizing Trust? Regular Summitry (G7s and European Councils), Mid-1970s/Mid-1980s (with N. Bonhomme)

This chapter examines how institutionalized summits served as a tool to foster trust during the Cold War. It argues that summits tried to foster trust both “internally” and “externally”: summitry aimed at developing not only trust among the leaders, but also crucially trust with regard to the Western (economic) system. These two ambitions—interpersonal and systemic—represented a vital transformation, albeit one imperfectly fulfilled, of the international system in the 1970s and 1980s.

Less than a Permanent Secretariat, More than an Ad-hoc Preparatory Group: a Prosopography of the G7 Personal Representatives, 1975-1991

This chapter explores one of the very distinctive features of the organisation of G7 summits, namely the group of personal representatives, or ‘sherpas’. Following a prosopographical approach, the study highlights a number of common characteristics among sherpas, in spite of the potential heterogeneity of this group. It further underscores the ambiguity of the G7 as an institution as well as the web of complex relations in which the G7 has embedded itself over time.