Stewart M. Patrick

The Internationalist

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

Qaddafi’s Arrest Warrant: The False Peace-Justice Tradeoff

by Stewart M. Patrick Tuesday, June 28, 2011

ICC chief prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo arrives at a news conference to comment on the arrest warrant issued for Libyan leader Qaddafi in The Hague (Jerry Lampen/ Courtesy Reuters).

Monday’s decision by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to issue a warrant for the arrest of Muammar al-Qaddafi for crimes against humanity has occasioned much gnashing of teeth from foreign policy realists like John Bolton, who clearly wish the three-judge panel had held its fire until the armed conflict in Libya had ended. What incentive does the Libyan leader have to relinquish power now, when he faces the prospect of being frog-marched to The Hague? Haven’t we learned by now that accountability must be sacrificed in the interest of peace—or at a minimum, deferred until the shooting stops?

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Half-Baked: The UN’s Annual Global Drug Report

by Stewart M. Patrick Friday, June 24, 2011

Drug addicts in Managua, Nicaragua (Oswaldo Rivas/ Courtesy Reuters).

On Thursday, the United Nations launched its annual World Drug Report. This year’s report comes four decades after President Richard Nixon declared a “war on drugs,” and fifty years since the United Nations established an Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to guide international policing of the drug trade.

The report highlights several important new trends in the international drug market. Understanding these trends will be vital for fighting the global drug trade, and addressing its spillover consequences.

Beyond killing over 200,000 people annually, the global drug trade bolsters corruption, entrenches organized crime, and enables terrorism around the globe. It undermines good governance, increases violence and political instability, and leads to carnage—like the extraordinary violence raging in Mexico.

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U.S.-UN Relations: Back to the Future?

by Stewart M. Patrick Monday, June 20, 2011

United Nations' Secretary General Kofi Annan meets with Senate Foreign Relations Committee chair Jesse Helms in 1997 (Luc Novovitch/ Courtesy Reuters).

Toxic partisanship on Capitol Hill. A looming budget showdown. A first term Democratic President struggling to explain an African military adventure, while empowered GOP leaders chide him as a foreign policy amateur. Seeing an easy target, House Republicans take aim at a bloated and dysfunctional United Nations, insisting on draconian cuts. Welcome to the latest crisis in U.S.-UN relations.

We’ve returned, apparently, to the mid-1990s, when Clinton administration missteps from health care to Somalia helped bring Newt Gingrich and the Republican Revolution to power in the House. The GOP’s “Contract with America” prohibited U.S. troops from serving under UN command and promised “to cut U.S. payments for peacekeeping operations.” The Clinton administration developed a more restrictive peace operations policy, but Congress sought more, beginning a broader policy of withholding U.S. payments to the UN’s regular and peacekeeping budgets in an effort to force reform on the world body—contingent on reform “benchmarks,” including zero nominal UN budget growth.

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The Dragon and the Eagle at the UN: Limits to Cooperation

by Stewart M. Patrick Friday, June 10, 2011

U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao sit across from one another during a September 2009 meeting at the United Nations (Kevin Lamarque/ Courtesy Reuters).

–Beijing, June 10, 2011

The Internationalist is on the road this week, attending a Peking University workshop on “US-China Relations and the World Order.” My discussions here are reminding me that despite the best climate in years for China and the United States to cooperate in the United Nations (UN), the two countries just don’t always see eye-to-eye. Read more »

Summer Reading: Ikenberry’s Liberal Leviathan

by Stewart M. Patrick Friday, June 3, 2011

Liberal Leviathan (Princeton University Press, 2011)

Given the pervasive hand-wringing about U.S. decline, it’s refreshing to read that the West’s best days may lie ahead.

You can find that argument in John Ikenberry’s Liberal Leviathan: The Origins, Crisis, and Transformation of the American World Order. It picks up where Ikenberry’s last “big” book left off (After Victory: Institutions, Strategic Restraint, and the Rebuilding of Order After Major Wars), which argued that hegemonic powers were most successful when they exercised restraint towards lesser powers, rather than throwing their weight around. By sacrificing policy autonomy, providing public goods within multilateral institutions, and offering “voice opportunities” to junior partners, a hegemon could transform its “might” into “right”—turn power into legitimate authority.

Ikenberry insisted this would help “lock in” broad support for the hegemon’s leadership and that rising powers would therefore be less likely to challenge the global order. For example, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman transformed the United States into a “Liberal Leviathan” in the 1940s by establishing multilateral institutions and patterns of strategic restraint. (A topic on which I have also written.) As a benevolent hegemon, it enjoyed widespread authority and loyalty so that countries didn’t try to ally against it, which carried the West to triumph in the Cold War.

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