Stewart M. Patrick

The Internationalist

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

The Health of Nations: The WHO’s Moment of Truth

by Stewart M. Patrick and Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick Thursday, May 21, 2015
World Health Organisation Director-General Margaret Chan gestures during her address to the 68th World Health Assembly at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, May 18, 2015 (Denis Balibouse/Courtesy: Reuters). World Health Organisation Director-General Margaret Chan gestures during her address to the 68th World Health Assembly at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, May 18, 2015 (Denis Balibouse/Courtesy: Reuters).

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

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa underscored how vulnerable the world has become to infectious disease—and how vital it is to invest in global health security. Not since the H1N1 pandemic of 2009 had an epidemic garnered so much attention—and inspired so much fear—worldwide. But this window is closing fast. As Ebola has waned in West Africa, so has the political momentum for reforming the World Health Organization (WHO). The World Health Assembly (WHA), which opened Monday in Geneva, offers what may be the last chance to restore the badly tarnished credibility of the WHO and preserve its central role in pandemic preparedness and response. Read more »

The NPT Review Conference: Setting Realistic Expectations

by Stewart M. Patrick and Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick Wednesday, April 29, 2015
A mushroom cloud rises over Nagasaki, Japan, on August 9, 1945. A mushroom cloud rises over Nagasaki, Japan, on August 9, 1945 (Ho New/Courtesy Reuters/U.S. Air Force).

Coauthored with Naomi Egel, research associate in the International Institutions and Global Governance program at the Council on Foreign Relations. Read more »

Earth Gets Its Day: When Will It Get Its Due?

by Stewart M. Patrick Wednesday, April 22, 2015
A photo of Earth—dubbed "Earthrise"—taken by U.S. astronaut William Anders during the Apollo 8 mission in December 1968. A photo of Earth—dubbed "Earthrise"—taken by U.S. astronaut William Anders during the Apollo 8 mission in December 1968 (William Anders/Courtesy NASA).

Earth Day 2015 finds the planet in dire straits. Future generations will mock the inanity of designating a single day each year to honor the Earth while despoiling the planet on which human well-being depended.

The World Bank warns that temperatures will almost certainly rise by 1.5 degrees Celsius by midcentury. The consequences will be dramatic and likely devastating. Glaciers will disappear,ice sheets will melt, sea levels will rise, oceans will acidify, coral reefs will die, fish stocks will collapse, droughts will intensify, storms will strengthen. Global averages, moreover, will conceal dramatic local swings in temperature. Under current climate scenarios, global warming will make many current population centers uninhabitable, causing mass migrations. According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees’ office, even by the most conservative predictions, extreme weather will displace up to 250 million people by midcentury. Read more »

Senator Rubio and U.S. “Leadership”: Three Questions for the Candidate

by Stewart M. Patrick Thursday, April 16, 2015
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio announces his 2016 presidential campaign at the Freedom Tower in Miami, Florida, on April 13, 2015. U.S. Senator Marco Rubio announces his 2016 presidential campaign at the Freedom Tower in Miami, Florida, on April 13, 2015 (Joe Skipper/Courtesy Reuters).

The decision by Marco Rubio to seek the Republican presidential nomination is audacious. But it would be a mistake to underestimate the first-term senator from Florida. As the current occupant of the White House attests, a thin political resume is no barrier to the highest office in the land when you have charisma and a compelling biography. Read more »

Pharmaceuticals in Global Health Security

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick Thursday, April 2, 2015
An Ebola trials notebook is seen in a laboratory during trials for an Ebola vaccine at the Jenner Institute in Oxford, England, on January 16, 2015. An Ebola trials notebook is seen in a laboratory during trials for an Ebola vaccine at the Jenner Institute in Oxford, England, on January 16, 2015 (Eddie Keogh/Courtesy Reuters).

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

The Odd Couple: Democrats, Republicans, and the New Politics of Trade

by Stewart M. Patrick Wednesday, April 1, 2015
A policewoman removes a man protesting the Transpacific Partnership (TPP) as U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman testifies before a Senate Finance Committee hearing on January 27, 2015. A policewoman removes a man protesting the Transpacific Partnership (TPP) as U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman testifies before a Senate Finance Committee hearing on January 27, 2015 (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters).

Politics, as the saying goes, makes strange bedfellows. This is certainly true in today’s fast-changing U.S. trade debate. The Obama administration has counted on strong GOP support for the centerpiece of its second term agenda: the Transpacific Partnership (TPP). Suddenly, right-wing Republicans are making common cause with left-wing Democrats, attacking the proposed twelve-nation blockbuster deal. The reason for this odd coupling? A little thing called sovereignty. Read more »

Understanding a Framework Convention on Global Health

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick Wednesday, March 25, 2015
A Sierra Leonean soldier walks past protective clothing drying on a fence in the Ebola Training Academy in Freetown, Sierra Leone, on December 16, 2014. A Sierra Leonean soldier walks past protective clothing drying on a fence in the Ebola Training Academy in Freetown, Sierra Leone, on December 16, 2014 (Baz Ratner/Courtesy Reuters).

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

For years, a group of global health scholars and practitioners have been pushing for the idea of a legally binding global health treaty—a framework convention on global health (FCGH). Grounded in the right to health, FCGH is anticipated to close the health gap between and within countries. The 2014 Ebola outbreak has highlighted the health disadvantages experienced by marginalized and poor populations in West Africa. Last week, Lawrence Gostin, University Professor and founding O’Neill Chair in Global Health Law at Georgetown University, and Lance Gable, associate dean for academic affairs and associate professor of law at Wayne State University, visited the Council on Foreign Relations to share their views on the prospects for FCGH and what it could accomplish in the realm of global health governance. Listen to this podcast for a “to-the-point” discussion of these issues and the important insights of Professors Gostin and Gable. Read more »

Present at the Creation, Beijing-Style

by Stewart M. Patrick Friday, March 20, 2015
Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei signs a memorandum of understanding on the establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) alongside founding member states in Beijing, China, on October 24, 2014. Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei signs a memorandum of understanding on the establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) alongside founding member states in Beijing, China, on October 24, 2014 (Takaki Yajima/Courtesy Reuters).

The decision by America’s four most important European allies to become founding members of the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is no mere diplomatic setback for Washington. It is a body blow to the U.S.-led international order created in the wake of World War II, which is crumbling before our eyes. The world rising to replace it will be a messy system of competing multilateral institutions in which the United States and China vie for supremacy. Read more »

Economic Coalition of the Willing: The OECD and Emerging Powers

by Stewart M. Patrick Thursday, March 12, 2015
A view of the OECD Conference Centre entrance in Paris, France, January 2011. A view of the OECD Conference Centre entrance in Paris, France, January 2011 (Michael Dean/OECD).

In an article just published by Foreign Affairs, Naomi Egel and I argue that the OECD’s approach to engaging emerging powers as “key partners” is a smart way to remain relevant as the global balance of power shifts. Other multilateral organizations should learn from its example. Read more »

The State of Global Governance: A Conversation with Joseph Nye

by Stewart M. Patrick Tuesday, March 3, 2015
A view of the United Nations Security Council during a meeting on the Ebola crisis in October 2014. A view of the United Nations Security Council during a meeting on the Ebola crisis in October 2014 (Eduardo Munoz /Courtesy Reuters).

Last month, at the International Studies Association 2015 Annual Conference in New Orleans, I had the pleasure of moderating a discussion on the state of global governance with Joseph S. Nye Jr., Harvard University distinguished service professor at the Harvard Kennedy School and author of the new book, Is the American Century Over? Read more »