Stewart M. Patrick

The Internationalist

Patrick assesses the future of world order, state sovereignty, and multilateral cooperation.

Podcast: An Assessment of Former WHO Director-Generals and Previous Rounds of Director-General Elections

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick Tuesday, August 16, 2016
A delegate walks past portraits of former WHO Director-Generals Lee Jong-wook of South Korea (2003-2006), Gro Harlem Brundtland of Norway (1998-2003) and Hiroshi Nakajima of Japan (1988-1998) (L-R) before the opening of the World Health Organization (WHO) Executive Board meeting on November 6, 2006. (Denis Balibouse /Reuters) A delegate walks past portraits of former WHO Director-Generals Lee Jong-wook of South Korea (2003-2006), Gro Harlem Brundtland of Norway (1998-2003) and Hiroshi Nakajima of Japan (1988-1998) (L-R) before the opening of the World Health Organization (WHO) Executive Board meeting on November 6, 2006. (Denis Balibouse /Reuters)

The following is a guest post by my colleague Yanzhong Huang, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Since 1948, seven individuals have served as the WHO director-general. Each was elected through a process that involved alliance formation and deal striking, and after election, each achieved varying degrees of success in terms of reforming the organization and fulfilling its mandate. If we agree that the DG’s leadership capabilities impact the performance of the WHO as an organization, and that what happened at an earlier point in time will affect the possible outcomes of a sequence of events occurring at a later point in time, it will be interesting to see what implications past experiences have for the upcoming DG election and the future of global health governance. Read more »

The International Energy Agency’s Hybrid Model

by Stewart M. Patrick Wednesday, August 10, 2016
International Energy Agency's Executive Director Fatih Birol looks on during the World Climate Change Conference 2015 at Le Bourget, France. (Stephane Mahe/Reuters) International Energy Agency's Executive Director Fatih Birol looks on during the World Climate Change Conference 2015 at Le Bourget, France. (Stephane Mahe/Reuters)

In an article just published by Foreign Affairs, Naomi Egel and I argue that the International Energy Agency’s approach to integrating rising powers holds lessons for the reform of other global institutions seeking to remain relevant.

International institutions are notoriously slow to adapt to change. Nowhere has this problem been more glaring than in the energy field. Since 2000, surging demand for energy in emerging economies and shifts in suppliers driven by a revolution in unconventional oil and gas extraction have transformed the global energy landscape. Yet the International Energy Agency (IEA), the most prominent energy-focused multilateral institution, has seemed stuck in the past, its membership restricted to states that belong to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a rich man’s club of advanced market democracies. Read more »

An Ever Closer (African) Union

by Stewart M. Patrick and Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick Thursday, August 4, 2016
Women stand in front of some of the flags representing the 54 sovereign states that are members of the AU, at the end of the 25th African Union summit in Johannesburg, June 15, 2015.  (Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters) Women stand in front of some of the flags representing the 54 sovereign states that are members of the AU, at the end of the 25th African Union summit in Johannesburg, June 15, 2015. (Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters)

Coauthored with Drew D’Alelio, intern in the International Institutions and Global Governance program at the Council on Foreign Relations.

The rise of populism has been widely interpreted as a global phenomenon, from Donald Trump’s surge in the United States to Brexit in Europe to the election of Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines. At last month’s African Union Summit in Rwanda, however, few gave integration a bad name. Heads of state lavished praise on the African Union’s (AU) efforts to develop a common passport, while subregional blocs made advances toward a single currency. Having seen the downside of decades of fragmentation and severe restrictions on the free movement of people and goods in Africa, leaders appear determined to buck the trend. Nevertheless, the anti-globalization wave across the West ought to give Africans pause as they speed ahead in their quest for a unified continent encompassing twice the population of the European Union. Read more »

Help Wanted: Staffing the Next Secretary-General’s United Nations

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick Tuesday, August 2, 2016
Candidates vying to become the next United Nations secretary-general debate in the UN General Assembly in New York on July 12, 2016. From left to right are Natalia Gherman, Vuk Jeremic, Susana Malcorra, António Guterres, and Vesna Pusic. Candidates vying to become the next United Nations secretary-general debate in the UN General Assembly in New York on July 12, 2016. From left to right are Natalia Gherman, Vuk Jeremic, Susana Malcorra, António Guterres, and Vesna Pusic (Mike Segar/Reuters).

The following is a guest post by Megan Roberts, associate director of the International Institutions and Global Governance program at the Council on Foreign Relations.

This week the UN Security Council will conduct a second straw poll in the race to select the ninth secretary-general (SG) of the United Nations. António Guterres, who recently stepped down from a ten-year run as UN high commissioner for refugees, emerged as the surprise early frontrunner after the first poll. However, the Council’s final choice likely won’t be known until the fall, and those watching the race should expect many twists in between. More important than who is selected is whether the process paves the way for real reform in how the UN chooses its senior leaders. Read more »

Podcast: The Next Director-General of the World Health Organization

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick Thursday, July 14, 2016
World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Margaret Chan leaves the podium after her speech at the sixty-ninth World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, on May 23, 2016. World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Margaret Chan leaves the podium after her speech at the sixty-ninth World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, on May 23, 2016 (Denis Balibouse/Reuters).

The following is a guest post by my colleague Yanzhong Huang, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations.

The term of the current director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO) ends around July 1, 2017. The leadership transition comes at a pivotal moment for global health and the WHO itself, given criticism over the agency’s handling of the West African Ebola epidemic, its years-long “reform” process, dwindling finances, and the growing threat of Zika virus. This election also marks a departure for the WHO: amid calls for a more democratic election process, the WHO executive board will narrow the field to three candidates, to be voted upon through secret ballots by the May 2017 World Health Assembly, the organization’s decision-making body consisting of all 194 member states. Read more »

International (Non-)Cooperation in a Changing World Order

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick Monday, July 11, 2016
U.S. President Barack Obama extends his hand to Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 28, 2015. U.S. President Barack Obama extends his hand to Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 28, 2015 (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters).

The following is a guest post by Terrence Mullan, program coordinator of the International Institutions and Global Governance program at the Council on Foreign Relations. Read more »

Brexit, Pursued by a Bear: NATO’s Enduring Relevance

by Stewart M. Patrick Wednesday, July 6, 2016
Polish, U.S., and British flags are seen during the NATO allies' Anakonda 16 exercise near Torun, Poland, on June 7, 2016. Polish, U.S., and British flags are seen during the NATO allies' Anakonda 16 exercise near Torun, Poland, on June 7, 2016 (Kacper Pempel/Reuters).

The British public’s momentous decision two weeks ago to quit the European Union (EU) continues to reverberate globally. But its geopolitical implications should not be exaggerated. Brexit poses an institutional crisis for the European Union. But it hardly indicates the impending “collapse of the liberal world order,” as some pundits fret. This weekend’s Warsaw summit will remind the world—and Vladimir Putin—that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) remains the real anchor of Western defense, and that the solidarity of the transatlantic alliance need not depend on the fortunes of the European project. Read more »

Brexit, Experts, and Trump: Is Policy Expertise Still Relevant in a Populist Age?

by Stewart M. Patrick Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a news conference, as he is watched by a piper in front of the lighthouse, at his Turnberry golf course in Scotland on June 24, 2016. Presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a news conference, as he is watched by a piper in front of the lighthouse, at his Turnberry golf course in Scotland on June 24, 2016 (Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters).

Among the main casualties of the populist wave now surging through Western democracies is respect for policy expertise. Michael Gove, justice secretary in the UK government and cheerleader for Brexit, captured the climate on June 2. When reminded that informed opinion was overwhelmingly opposed to Great Britain leaving the European Union, Gove uttered the infamous words that will be his epitaph: “People in this country have had enough of experts.” Read more »

A Victory for Little England—and National Sovereignty

by Stewart M. Patrick Friday, June 24, 2016
Boris Johnson, the former mayor of London and champion of the "Leave" campaign, speaks during a rally in Manchester, England, on April 15, 2016. Boris Johnson, the former mayor of London and champion of the "Leave" campaign, speaks during a rally in Manchester, England, on April 15, 2016 (Andrew Yates/Reuters).

The shocking victory of the “Leave” campaign in Thursday’s referendum was a massive repudiation of the elite-driven European project and a testament to the enduring pull of national sovereignty in an age of global anxiety. It is a momentous decision that will reverberate well beyond the British Isles. Besides posing an immediate, existential crisis for the European Union and the United Kingdom itself, the outcome will embolden skeptics of international institutions and multilateral cooperation in the United States. Read more »

Somewhere Beyond the (South China) Sea: Navigating U.S.-China Competition in Southeast Asia

by Stewart M. Patrick and Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick Thursday, June 23, 2016
Philippine Military Academy cadets leave their boat and go ashore during a joint field training exercise at a training center south of Manila, the Philippines, on May 29, 2013. Philippine Military Academy cadets leave their boat and go ashore during a joint field training exercise at a training center south of Manila, the Philippines, on May 29, 2013 (Romeo Ranoco/Reuters).

Coauthored with Daniel Chardell, research associate in the International Institutions and Global Governance program at the Council on Foreign Relations.

As the international tribunal at The Hague prepares to issue its much-anticipated ruling on the legality of China’s claims to nearly the entire South China Sea, Beijing and Washington have already begun lobbing rhetorical shots across the bow. “We do not make trouble but we have no fear of trouble,” warned a senior People’s Liberation Army official at the Shangri-La Dialogue earlier this month, in reference to U.S. freedom of navigation operations (FONOPS). U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, for his part, cautioned China against “erecting a great wall of self-isolation” as it continues to construct, expand, and militarize artificial islands in the disputed waters over the objections of its Southeast Asian neighbors. Read more »