The impact of the Dartmouth Conference can never be measured precisely, but it was substantial. As Voorhees demonstrates, the concept of the multilevel peace process, and especially the idea of sustained dialogue between influential but unofficial members of seemingly implacable groups, evolved as the Dartmouth process evolved. Unfettered by the constraints on official diplomats, the participants could speak with a rare degree of candour and freedom on a wide range of subjects, sustaining their conversation from one meeting to the next - and building a foundation of shared knowledge over 40 years. As Harold Saunders and Vitaly Zhurkin explain in a concluding chapter, the lessons learned and techniques developed at Dartmouth are being applied today in numerous settings. Drawing on extensive research and interviews, this account of the evolution of a peacemaking venture adds a new perspective on both the Cold War and the conduct of multilevel peace processes.
Sustained dialogue in perspective; the early years; the rise and fall of Detente; a new Cold War and the beginnings of Perestroika; the peak of glasnost and collapse; new approaches from a rich tradition; the influence of the Dartmouth Conference; what have we learned?