Legitimacy can be understood as a quality we ascribe to an actor or action when it is perceived by other social actors as rightful: ‘desirable, proper, appropriate within some socially constructed system of norms, values, beliefs, and definitions’. Christian Reus-Smit, Chair of International Relations at the University of Queensland, discusses in his speech the connection between confernce diplomacy and the politics - or, shall we say the crisis - of diplomacy advancing three arguments: 1. seing conference diplomacy as product of two political imperatives that together generate their own problems of legitimacy; 2. seing conference diplomacy as a product of an international system, transformed by struggles over legitimacy; 3. seing conference diplomacy as a mixed effective political instrument generating its own problems of legitimacy.
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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.