Since 1975 the leaders of the major western economies have gathered in annual summit meetings to try to agree a unified response to the main political and economic problems facing them. This book traces the development of the summit meetings and tries to assess their impact on western decision-making and international relations in general. The summit meetings arose as the product of a serious crisis that shook the world economy in the early 1970s. They have been sustained because of the waning of the American hegemony that had previously supported the post war international economic regime. From this it became vital for the leaders of the major economies to re-assert collective leadership in order to try to re-establish a new world economic equilibrium.
Results of a research conducted by the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) and funded by the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA). Published also in Italian as I vertici. Cooperazione e competizione fra paesi occidentali, Roma, Adn Kronos, April 1985 (Dossier Adnkronos).
Preface, Cesare Merlini, p. vii-ix
Note on Contributors, p. x
List of Acronyms, p. xi-xii
1. From Rambouillet to Williamsburg: a historical assessment, Guido Garavaglia, p. 1-42
2. The Western economic summits: a political interpretation, Robert Putnam, p. 43-88
3. Collective management and economic cooperation, Jacques Pelkmans, p. 89-136
4. Political issues at the summits: a new concert of powers?, William Wallace, p. 137-152
5. Between image and substance: the role of the media, Kurt Becker, p. 153-166
6. The European Community and the Seven, Gianni Bonvicini and Wolfgang Wessels, p. 167-192
7. A fall after the rise? The political options for Europe, Cesare Merlini, p. 193-212