Stewart M. Patrick

The Internationalist

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

“A Moment of Truth” for Syrian Refugees—and International Justice

by Stewart M. Patrick Thursday, February 28, 2013
Syrian refugees at a refugee camp in the Turkish border town of Yayladagi in Hatay province. (Umit Bektas/Courtesy Reuters) Syrian refugees at a refugee camp in the Turkish border town of Yayladagi in Hatay province. (Umit Bektas/Courtesy Reuters)

Yesterday Antonio Gutteres, the United Nation’s High Commissioner for Refugees, briefed the UN Security Council on the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Syria. Gutteres’ remarks, delivered in closed session but subsequently published on UNHCR’s website, provide a chilling summary of the human cost of this grinding conflict. The crisis, in his words, presents a “moment of truth” to the international community. That is true in at least two senses. The world needs to take bolder steps to alleviate human suffering in Syria. And it needs to hold the perpetrators of atrocities accountable. Read more »

Is the International Community Growing Apart?

by Stewart M. Patrick Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Delegates sit for a Security Council meeting to discuss Peace and Security in the Middle East during the 67th United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. Headquarters in New York, September 26, 2012. (Keith Bedford/Courtesty Reuters) Delegates sit for a Security Council meeting to discuss Peace and Security in the Middle East during the 67th United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. Headquarters in New York, September 26, 2012. (Keith Bedford/Courtesty Reuters)

In this radio interview on From Washington Al Mundo of February 13, 2013, Dr. Stewart Patrick explains how and why the world is increasingly complicated as emerging democracies promote a diverse range of interests. Exploring issues of traditional power competition, cybersecurity, and the eurozone crisis, Patrick explains the current state of multilateral cooperation. He goes on to discuss the deadlock in the UN Security Council concerning the situation in Syria and explore governance issues in South America. Read more »

John Kerry and the Blurring of the Foreign and Domestic

by Stewart M. Patrick Friday, February 22, 2013
Secretary of State John Kerry. Photo taken during meetings with his Canadian counterpart, John Baird. (Jason Reed/Courtesy Reuters) Secretary of State John Kerry. Photo taken during meetings with his Canadian counterpart, John Baird. (Jason Reed/Courtesy Reuters)

John Kerry’s first major address as secretary of state, delivered Wednesday at the University of Virginia, was light on specifics and priorities. But it offered a useful glimpse into his mindset as the country’s newest chief diplomat. Two themes permeated the speech: the eroding boundary between what is “foreign” and “domestic” in our global era and the risks to U.S. national security of shortchanging investments in diplomacy and development assistance. Read more »

The G20: Prospects and Challenges for Global Governance

by Stewart M. Patrick Wednesday, February 13, 2013
President Vladimir Putin’s presidency of the G20 was a subject of debate during CFR’s discussion of the G20’s “Prospects and Challenges for Global Governance.” It is also likely that the agenda set during the Russian presidency of the G20 will shape its future, at least in the near term. (Grigory Dukor/Courtesy Reuters) President Vladimir Putin’s presidency of the G20 was a subject of debate during CFR’s discussion of the G20’s “Prospects and Challenges for Global Governance.” It is also likely that the agenda set during the Russian presidency of the G20 will shape its future, at least in the near term. (Grigory Dukor/Courtesy Reuters)

Yesterday I got to debate the role of the Group of Twenty (G20) in global governance with some heavyweight thinkers at CFR’s New York offices. The on-the-record discussion, moderated by Anne-Marie Slaughter of Princeton University, included Ian Bremmer, the head of the Eurasia Group and author of the bestselling Every Nation for Itself, and Nicolas Berggruen, author of the new book Intelligent Governance for the 21st Century: A Middle Way between East and West. The wide-ranging conversation explored whether the G20 was up to the task of serving as the premier steering group for the world economy—much less addressing other items on the global agenda. Read more »

“Smuggler Nation”: America’s Illicit History Exposed

by Stewart M. Patrick Thursday, February 7, 2013
Tallship The Grande Turk trails Britain's Queen Elizabeth II's ship HMS Endurance. (Russell Boyce/Courtesy Reuters) Tallship The Grande Turk trails Britain's Queen Elizabeth II's ship HMS Endurance. (Russell Boyce/Courtesy Reuters)

Smuggling may not be the world’s oldest profession, but it must rank a close second. For as long as political authorities have sought to control borders, criminal networks have tried to circumvent them, evading customs duties and trafficking in illicit goods. Indeed, as Peter Andreas shows in his spectacular new book, Smuggler Nation: How Illicit Trade Made America, smuggling has been an enduring feature of the American experience since colonial times. It has been as important in shaping the development and global trajectory of the United States as the factors historians usually invoke—such as the liberal political principles of the nation’s Founders, the legacy of the frontier, the doctrine of American exceptionalism, the country’s geographic position, or its abundant natural resources. Once you read his fascinating account, you will never look at U.S. history the same way again. Read more »

Israel’s Preemptive Strikes on Syria: Self-Defense Under International Law?

by Stewart M. Patrick Tuesday, February 5, 2013
An Israeli air force F15-E fighter jet takes off for an Israeli mission in 2012. (Baz Ratner/Courtesy Reuters) An Israeli air force F15-E fighter jet takes off for an Israeli mission in 2012. (Baz Ratner/Courtesy Reuters)

Coauthored with Andrew Reddie, research associate in the International Institutions and Global Governance program.

Israel’s January 31 aerial attack on a Syrian  research facility and arms complex has raised once again the thorny question of when preemption against a developing threat may be justified under international law—as opposed to simply strategic calculation. Predictably, the Israeli bombardment elicited a hail of criticism from some regional and global players. Syria has threatened to retaliate, while Iran has suggested that Israel would regret its violation of Syrian sovereignty. The Russian response, however, was particularly intriguing, since it highlights an ongoing disagreement over the circumstances in which the use of force may be warranted. Read more »

Is the International Community Growing Apart?

by Stewart M. Patrick Monday, February 4, 2013
The Spasskaya Tower of the Kremlin pictured after a heavy snowfall in central Moscow on January 21, 2013 (Sergei Karpukhin/Courtesy Reuters). The Spasskaya Tower of the Kremlin pictured after a heavy snowfall in central Moscow on January 21, 2013 (Sergei Karpukhin/Courtesy Reuters).

Coauthored with Isabella Bennett, program coordinator in the International Institutions and Global Governance program.

Last month, IIGG and the Moscow-based Institute of Contemporary Development convened the second regional meeting of the Council of Councils—a network of twenty-four policy institutions based in established and emerging states—to exchange practical ideas and solutions regarding daunting transnational challenges. The conversations highlighted growing areas of systemic global risk and thinning solidarity within the so-called international community. These trends threaten to undermine multilateral cooperation in stabilizing the global economy and preserving international peace and security. Read more »