Stewart M. Patrick

The Internationalist

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

Salvaging South Sudan’s Sovereignty (and Ending its Civil War)

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick Monday, April 24, 2017
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley prepares to speak at a Security Council meeting on the situation in Syria on April 12, 2017. (Stephanie Keith/Reuters)

The following is a guest post by Kate Almquist Knopf, director of the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, and Payton Knopf, former coordinator of the UN Panel of Experts on South Sudan. Read more »

Will the Director General Election Bring About the Change the World Health Organization is Looking for?

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick Friday, April 14, 2017
A combination of pictures shows the three candidates for Director General of the World Health Organisation Sania Nishtar, David Nabarro and Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, during their news conferences at WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, January 26, 2017. (Pierre Albouy/Reuters)

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

For those who have been used to the noise and excitement in U.S. presidential elections, the campaign for the director general (DG) of the World Health Organization (WHO) is not just overshadowed by media reports on Trump, Syria, and nuclear proliferation—it itself seems to be unglamorous and uninformative. As observed by a recent New York Times article, the candidates’ positions are similar on most issues, from the WHO’s budget to emergency response.  Indeed, they also behave similarly—they not only avoid publically criticizing one another, but also seek not to give people the impression that they are critical of any member states, existing programs, or nonstate actors. Read more »

Silent Suffering: Mental Health as a Global Health Priority

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick Friday, April 7, 2017
A man embraces Argi, a trained therapeutic greyhound used to treat patients with mental health issues and learning difficulties, as he relaxes at Benito Menni health facility in Elizondo, northern Spain, February 13, 2017. (Susana Vera/Reuters)

Coauthored with Ryan Fedasiuk, intern in the International Institutions and Global Governance program at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Today is World Health Day. Originally created to mark the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO), the day has since become an opportunity to spread awareness of a subject of major importance to global health each year. For 2017, the WHO campaign focuses on depression, the leading cause of disability worldwide. As the WHO spotlights depression and issues surrounding the illness, it is important to consider just how far the international community has to go in combating this debilitating mental disease. Read more »

UN Peacekeeping: A New Leader for the Blue Helmets

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick Friday, March 31, 2017
United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) peacekeepers meet women and children on their path during a patrol near Bentiu, northern South Sudan, February 11, 2017. (Siegfried Modola/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. Read more »

Canary in the Coal Mine: The Arctic as a National Imperative

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick Friday, March 24, 2017
The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy, in the midst of their ICESCAPE mission, retrieves supplies for some mid-mission fixes dropped by parachute from a C-130 in the Arctic Ocean in this July 12, 2011 NASA handout photo obtained by Reuters. (NASA/Reuters)

The following is a guest post by Theresa Lou, research associate in the International Institutions and Global Governance program.

The Arctic is changing rapidly. It is warming at twice the rate as the rest of the planet, causing sea ice to melt and water levels to rise. Once considered the world’s least accessible ocean, the Arctic Ocean now contains additional sea routes for shipping and commercial activity. Countries such as China and Russia—eager for emerging economic opportunities—are investing new resources in the region as the United States lags behind.  Meanwhile, rising sea levels and erratic weather patterns are endangering coastal communities in all Arctic nations. Read more »

Trump 2018 Budget Proposal: What We Know (And Don’t Know)

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick Monday, March 20, 2017
Source: FiveThirtyEight (

The following is a guest post by Laurie Garrett, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations. The following information is compiled by Laurie and her research associate Gabriella Meltzer. Read more »

Trump’s Misguided National Security Budget: Every Problem is Not a Nail

by Stewart M. Patrick Thursday, March 16, 2017
U.S. President Donald Trump's overview of the budget priorities for Fiscal Year 2018 are displayed at the U.S. Government Publishing Office on its release by the Office of Management and Budget in Washington, U.S. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

President Trump’s unapologetic “hard power” budget reveals an alarming ignorance about the threats to U.S. national security and the instruments needed to advance U.S. global interests. The document would slash already-modest outlays for U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance, while increasing the current gargantuan Pentagon budget by ten percent. The result is a fundamentally unbalanced national security budget that guts the State Department and USAID on the erroneous assumption that the U.S. military alone can somehow meet America’s foreign policy needs. If approved as drafted, Trump’s budget would signal the definitive surrender of any pretense to U.S. global leadership. Read more »

Inequality and the Rise of Authoritarianism: International Studies Association Panel

by Stewart M. Patrick Thursday, March 16, 2017
Demonstrators supporting Brexit protest outside of the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain. (Toby Melville/Reuters)

As part of CFR’s Academic Outreach Initiative, I recently had the privilege of moderating a panel on inequality and the rise of authoritarianism with Jack A. Goldstone, Virginia E. and John T. Hazel professor of public policy at George Mason University; Shadi Hamid, senior fellow in the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution; and Kate McNamara, professor of government and foreign service at Georgetown University, and 2016–2017 distinguished scholar in residence at American University’s School of International Service. The panel was held at the International Studies Association annual convention in Baltimore, Maryland, on February 15. Read more »

Facebook Live: International Women’s Day

by Stewart M. Patrick Thursday, March 9, 2017
Women hold banners during a gathering to mark International Women's Day in downtown Lisbon, Portugal March 8, 2017. (Rafael Marchante/Reuters)

To commemorate International Women’s Day, I sat down with my friend and colleague Rachel Vogelstein, CFR senior fellow and director of the Women and Foreign Policy Program. We talked about the significance of the day, the status of women and girls around the world in 2017, the relationship between women’s advancement and broader U.S. foreign policy interests, as well as challenges and opportunities for advancing global women’s issues in today’s political climate. Read more »

The Scottish Play: Will Brexit Spell the End of a United Kingdom?

by Stewart M. Patrick Thursday, March 2, 2017
Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, smiles during a EU referendum Remain event, at Edinburgh airport in Edinburgh, Scotland, Britain June 22, 2016. (Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters)

The decision by British voters last June to leave the European Union (EU) has thrown that bloc into turmoil. But its implications for Great Britain could be even more profound, portending the dissolution of the United Kingdom. Prime Minister Theresa May could trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty as early as March 15, starting the two-year timetable for negotiating the terms of the UK’s divorce from the EU. The prime minister should beware the Ides of March: It seems all but inevitable that Scotland’s government will respond by calling for a second referendum on Scottish independence. The ultimate result could be the reemergence of a sovereign Scotland, more than three hundred years after the Acts of Union (1706–1707) united the cross of St. Andrew and the cross of St. George. Read more »