Bilderberg Coming of Age (1950s-1970s)
Head of the Department of the countries of Europe and America, MGIMO University, firstname.lastname@example.org
elibrary_id: 251397 |
Based on newly available archival documents and recent literature the article presents an analysis of the origins and development of the Bilderberg meetings of transatlantic elite in 1950s-1980s. Conspiracy theories notwithstanding it is demonstrated that the organization of these meetings was a joint transnational project of European and American elites in which private and government structures merged and private initiative was interwoven with group and bureaucratic interests. The promotion of this project became an important part of the formation of the Cold War Atlantic community. Also examined on case studies basis are specific functions performed by the Bilderberg meetings: elite fraternization and networking, consensus maintenance and reinforcement, elite recruitment and rejuvenation. The final conclusion is that despite many deep changes in international and transatlantic relations since its establishment Bilderberg retains its importance compared to other more specialized and homogeneous transatlantic networks because it serves as a hub network of confidential contacts between all key sectors and national segments of transatlantic elites. Activities of Bilderberg as well as of other informal transnational networks present a fertile field for interdisciplinary studies combining methods of history, political science and sociology.
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