Stewart M. Patrick

The Internationalist

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

The G20’s Growth Promise: Can They Deliver?

by Stewart M. Patrick Thursday, February 27, 2014

The G20’s Growth Promise: Can They Deliver?

–Sydney, Australia

Last weekend’s meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors in Sydney racked up some notable achievements. The most important was an agreement by the assembled governments to increase global growth by two percentage points over the next five years and to submit detailed national action plans to bring this about. At the same time, the gathering reminded observers how difficult it is to hold G20 members’ feet to the fire to ensure the timely fulfillment of their commitments. Read more »

The Obama Administration Must Act Fast to Prevent the Internet’s Fragmentation

by Stewart M. Patrick Wednesday, February 26, 2014
A man types on a computer keyboard in Warsaw in this February 28, 2013 illustration file picture. One of the largest ever cyber attacks is slowing global internet services after an organisation blocking ''spam'' content became a target, with some experts saying the disruption could get worse (Kacper Pempel/Courtesy Reuters).

Here in Sydney, Australia, where I’m attending a conference of CFR’s Council of Councils—a global network of prominent think tanks—a dialogue about the future of Internet governance has highlighted brewing controversy about the management of cyberspace. The conversation has convinced me that the Obama administration has a closing window of opportunity to safeguard international support for an open global Internet. It must immediately quicken dialogue with allies and partners to ensure that outrage over the NSA spying program does not result in the irreparable fragmentation of cyberspace. Read more »

The Global Response to Armed Conflict: From Aleppo to Kinshasa

by Stewart M. Patrick Wednesday, February 19, 2014
IIGG announces updated Global Governance Monitor (Yurri Erfansyah/Courtesy Reuters).

As the civil war in Syria rages on, and the United States and its international partners appear unable to mobilize a collective response to stem the bloodshed, CFR’s International Institutions and Global Governance program has launched an update to its Global Governance Monitor: Armed Conflict. The revamped multimedia guide uses a new technology platform to track and analyze recent multilateral efforts to prevent, manage, and respond to armed violence around the globe. Combining stunning images and compelling narrative, it identifies the major successes and failures in global conflict mitigation during 2013. Read more »

Spain’s Welcome Retreat on Universal Jurisdiction

by Stewart M. Patrick Friday, February 14, 2014
Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon waves as he attends the opening of the 130th term of the Argentina's Congressional ordinary sessions inside the Congress building in Buenos Aires March 1, 2012. Spain's Supreme Court cleared former judge Garzon on Monday of overstepping his authority when he ordered an investigation into the murders of more than 100,000 people by forces loyal to late dictator Francisco Franco. Garzon, internationally known for ordering the arrest of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in 1998, had been charged with violating a 1977 amnesty on political crimes, passed to ease the transition to democracy after Franco's rule (Marcos Brindicci/Courtesy Reuters).

Coauthored with Claire Schachter, research associate in the International Institutions and Global Governance program.

By voting Tuesday to curb its judges’ authority to exercise universal jurisdiction, Spain’s national parliament has once again thrust the international legal doctrine of universal jurisdiction into the spotlight. The vote came after a Spanish judge issued arrest warrants for former Chinese president Jiang Zemin and four senior Chinese officials over alleged human rights abuses committed decades ago in Tibet. The shift in Spain’s stance is an opportunity to reflect on why universal jurisdiction rose to prominence, and whether it is an effective means of furthering the goal of ending impunity for egregious human rights violations. Read more »

On Display in Syria: The Costs of UN Security Council Dissensus

by Stewart M. Patrick Wednesday, February 5, 2014
A U.N. chemical weapons expert, wearing a gas mask, holds a plastic bag containing samples from one of the sites of an alleged chemical weapons attack in the Ain Tarma neighbourhood of Damascus August 29, 2013 (Mohamed Abdullah/Courtesy Reuters).

Syrian foot-dragging in destroying its arsenal of chemical weapons has again exposed the limitations of UN collective security when the Security Council’s permanent members fail to speak with one voice. UNSC Resolution 2118, passed on September 27, 2013, requires the government of Bashar al-Assad to destroy all chemical weapons production and mixing equipment by November 1, 2013, and eliminate all materials by mid-2014. This was always an ambitious deadline given the challenges of loading and securely transporting large quantities of weapons in the midst of a civil war. It is now apparent that the Syrian government will miss its deadline by a wide margin. As of January 30, Syrian forces had transported less than 5 percent of the required material. Read more »