Pocket Talks | Why is History relevant to International Politics?
16/10/2014

Alexandre Moreli, coordinator of the Center for International Relations of FGV, inaugurates the Pocket Talks session. Professor Moreli participated at the XI International Security Conference Forte de Copacabana, which took place on October 10th in Rio de Janeiro and was organized by Konrad Adenauer Foundation and the Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI), with support from the European Union Delegation in Brazil. On this occasion, the coordinator attended the panel entitled “100 Years of the Great War; 200 Years of the Congress of Vienna”, in which were also present researcher Stella Ghervas of Harvard, Professor Eiiti Sato of UNB, and it was moderated by the coordinator of Studies in Foreign Policy and Security of Konrad Adenauer, Patrick Keller.

Question: Being the XI International Security Conference Forte de Copacabana an event which has mainly debated contemporary issues of the international security agenda, what is your opinion on having a historical debate planned for this year?

Answer: I think it was an interesting initiative of the organization of the event in their search for a deeper understanding of the issues circumscribed in the international agenda today. I believe it was particularly interesting to understand the extent of the larger structures that influence international relations, promoting a denser debate on solutions that could enable decision makers to achieve better results in the field.

Question: If you could give one example, what would be the impact of the First World War and the Congress of Vienna today?

Answer: The Congress of Vienna was quite remembered during discussions to better understand the power imbalances and areas of instability that worry Europe currently, mainly in the Eastern the continent, in shaky regions, like Ukraine and Russia. The First World War, once allowing for the creation of multilateral diplomacy for peace negotiations and agreements, was remembered to clarify the position of countries that bet on multilateralism today, such as Brazil.

Question: Which of the two events do you believe have more impact on the decision making processes in today's world?

Answer: It depends on the period of time which we are looking at in the past decades. During the Cold War, despite the apparent bipolarity, the notion of balance of power was at the heart of the tensions around the world, referencing one of the basic principles of Vienna. Differently, in the last decade, especially with the creation of groups like the G-20 and the BRICS and their demands for reform of the multilateral system, a reference to a multilateralism created shortly after World War helps us understand the strategies and possibilities of success of the demands of the emerging countries today, just like the United States and Japan back then.

 

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