Institut für Politikwissenschaft



Institutskolloquium: Secret World Government? - The Bilderberg Group and the Transatlantic Relationship during the Cold War

Dr. Thomas Gijswijt (Universität Tübingen) am Mittwoch, 22.01.2020, 16 h c.t. - 18 h im IfP, Raum 124

The Bilderberg Group is an important part of transatlantic history and relations. It was a secretive, high-level transatlantic elite network founded at the height of the Cold War by the Polish exile Joseph Retinger. Since 1954 frequent meetings of high-level diplomats, politicians, economic elites, military personnel and journalists took place on both sides of the Atlantic. In this talk Thomas Gijswijt will discuss the origins and functioning of this group, which was an „informal alliance“ without formal decision-making power, but not without influence. He will illustrate how informal diplomacy became increasingly important in a fast-changing world of Cold War, decolonization, and globalization in the 1950s and 1960s. He will also debunk some of the more outlandish conspiracy theories concerning the Bilderberg Group and dissect the persistent myth that the Bilderberg Group was created by the CIA.

Dr. Thomas Gijswijt is Associate Professor of American Studies at the University of Tübingen. He is an expert on American foreign policy and transatlantic relations, US elections, the American Presidency, gun control, conspiracy theories in American history. Recently, he published the first archive-based history of the Bilderberg Group (Informal Alliance, Routledge 2018).