Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I find the personalisation of international relations quite interesting and wonder if that has always been the case. That leader had to like each other to be able to make better/ more successful business.

Of course the smallest things can start wars. But did Stalin and Churchill like each other when they negotiated, or how about Hitler and Mussolini - or Hitler and Chamberlain.

When those contract negotiations are being discussed it seems to me the personal level of "friendship" is never an issue : The had a chat over a beer, they exchanged sweaters, hand picked .

The first case where I can remember the personal is being discussed i between Charles de Gaulle and Adenauer, then Kohl very extensively, with his "Maennerfreundschaften" to Gorbatschow.

How much of that is real? Is that only an aspect of politicians meeting more often and the connected ability to form "relationships? or is there a greater change in culture?

by PeWi on Wed Jul 19th, 2006 at 07:51:00 AM EST
The had a chat over a beer

should have been
They never seem to have had a chat over a beer

by PeWi on Wed Jul 19th, 2006 at 07:59:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh this is nothing new.  Look at the monarchies of the 18th-20th Centuries.  Talk about personalization of international relations...  I think it is just recently that we expect more "business" and professionalism.  

I accuse Bush of popularizing the idea that friendship can replace diplomacy, or must be required for it.  

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Wed Jul 19th, 2006 at 01:22:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think Bush has a patrimonial idea of government. L'état c'est lui, "gentlemen don't need treaties", and so on.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jul 19th, 2006 at 01:25:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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