"Historians make bad theorists given their habitual obsession with specificities of time, place, and change on a micro-level," Jürgen Osterhammel, Professor for Modern History at the University of Konstanz, once said. In his speech about legitimacy in international conference diplomacy he adresses the specific contribution historians can make in discussing the question, how legitimate a specific conference, e.g. the Congress of Vienna, has been.
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Conference: 200 Years of Conference Diplomacy | From the Congress of Vienna to the G7
On 9 June 1815, the Final Act of the Congress of Vienna was signed. Two hundred years later, on 7 and 8 June 2015, Germany hosted the G7 summit. This coincidence provided a unique occasion to reflect on the past, present and future of conference diplomacy. For this purpose, an international conference with eminent political scientists and historians took place at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Berlin on 8 and 9 June 2015. Researchers as well as political practitioners discussed the lessons of 200 years of multilateral cooperation, in four crucial areas: inclusion, effectiveness, legitimacy, and international order.