Stewart M. Patrick

The Internationalist

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

Could the BRICS Bank Make China More Responsible?

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Leaders of the BRICS countries—Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and South African President Jacob Zuma—pose during the BRICS summit in Fortaleza, Brazil, on July 15, 2014. Leaders of the BRICS countries—Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and South African President Jacob Zuma—pose during the BRICS summit in Fortaleza, Brazil, on July 15, 2014 (Nacho Doce/Courtesy Reuters).

Below is a guest post by Isabella Bennett, assistant director of the International Institutions and Global Governance program. Read more »

The Age of Extinction: Can Anything Be Done to Save Our Planet’s Biodiversity?

by Stewart M. Patrick Thursday, October 9, 2014
An endangered poison frog (Oophaga histrionica) is pictured at the Santa Fe Zoo in Medellín, Colombia, in January 2013. An endangered poison frog (Oophaga histrionica) is pictured at the Santa Fe Zoo in Medellín, Colombia, in January 2013 (Albeiro Lopera/Courtesy Reuters).

In a world of crises from Ebola to Syria, it’s easy to overlook slow-motion calamities. Both the U.S. government and the mainstream media are vulnerable to this myopia, the former in thrall to the tyranny of the in-box, the latter forever chasing what’s “new” in the news. This may account for the silence that has greeted recent scientific evidence that the Earth is experiencing a devastating and potentially irreversible loss of biodiversity. Unfortunately, this man-made ecological catastrophe is unfolding at a gradual, if inexorable, pace in multiple areas of the world. But it is harder to find images akin to a hostage begging for his life, or health workers clad in protective suits, to hold the public’s attention and mobilize political support for action. Thus, humanity continues to sleepwalk, as the planet experiences only the sixth major extinction event in its 4.5 billion year history. Read more »

President Obama’s UN Speech: Defending World Order

by Stewart M. Patrick Wednesday, September 24, 2014
U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the sixty-ninth United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 24, 2014. U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the sixty-ninth United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 24, 2014 (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters).

In one of the most impressive speeches of his presidency, Barack Obama this morning challenged UN member states to join the United States in confronting two “defining challenges”: the return of imperialist aggression and the spread of violent extremism. Read more »

A World of Troubles: Obama at the United Nations

by Stewart M. Patrick Tuesday, September 23, 2014
U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 24, 2013. U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 24, 2013 (Mike Segar/Courtesy Reuters).

In his rookie address to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in September 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama famously announced “a new era of engagement.” After the tumultuous Bush years, his reception was rapturous, even giddy (remember that Nobel Peace Prize?). Five bruising years later, the president’s dreams of a harmonious, cooperative world have been torn into shreds from Crimea to Syria. This week the aging prize-fighter-in-chief climbs back into the ring at a time of great peril. He must convince both foreign and domestic audiences that the world is not spinning out of control and that the United States is determined to keep it that way. Read more »

ISIS and Foreign Fighters: Cutting off the Global Pipeline

by Stewart M. Patrick and Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick Monday, September 22, 2014
ISIS fighters stand atop a tank during a military parade in Syria's Raqqa province on June 30, 2014. The parade was held to celebrate the group's declaration of a "caliphate" spanning its territory in Syria and Iraq one day earlier. ISIS fighters stand atop a tank during a military parade in Syria's Raqqa province on June 30, 2014. The parade was held to celebrate the group's declaration of a "caliphate" spanning its territory in Syria and Iraq one day earlier (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters).

Coauthored with Daniel Chardell, research associate in the International Institutions and Global Governance program. Read more »

Scot-Free? The UK’s Security Council Seat is Safe, No Matter What

by Stewart M. Patrick Tuesday, September 16, 2014
UK Ambassador to the UN Mark Lyall Grant speaks with his U.S. counterpart, Ambassador Samantha Power, during a UN Security Council meeting on the crisis in Ukraine in March 2014. UK Ambassador to the UN Mark Lyall Grant speaks with his U.S. counterpart, Ambassador Samantha Power, during a UN Security Council meeting on the crisis in Ukraine in March 2014 (Shannon Stapleton/Courtesy Reuters).

As Scotland approaches its independence referendum on Thursday, desperate unionists are groping to bolster the “No thanks” cause. There is no shortage of compelling reasons to stick together. But one claim being advanced is truly far-fetched: that Scottish secession endangers the United Kingdom’s permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). Last week former British Prime Minister John Major alleged as much, warning, “We would lose our seat at the top table in the UN.” This ignores geopolitical realities and historical precedents. Read more »

Ebola Reveals Gaps in Global Epidemic Response

by Stewart M. Patrick and Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Health workers screen patients for the Ebola virus at a local government hospital in Kenema, Sierra Leone, on June 30, 2014. Health workers screen patients for the Ebola virus at a local government hospital in Kenema, Sierra Leone, on June 30, 2014 (Tommy Trenchard/Courtesy Reuters).

Coauthored with Daniel Chardell, research associate in the International Institutions and Global Governance program.
Read more »

NATO Membership Has Its Privileges (Unfortunately Ukraine Won’t See Them)

by Stewart M. Patrick Wednesday, September 3, 2014
U.S. president Barack Obama and his Estonian counterpart, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, review troops during Obama's visit to Tallinn, Estonia, on September 3, 2014. U.S. president Barack Obama and his Estonian counterpart, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, review troops during Obama's visit to Tallinn, Estonia, on September 3, 2014 (Larry Downing/Courtesy Reuters).

Russia’s aggression in Ukraine is the most egregious effort since World War II to forcibly alter the borders of a sovereign European state. It is also the biggest test of Western resolve since the Cold War ended a quarter century ago. If history is any guide, at this week’s summit in Wales, President Obama and fellow NATO leaders are unlikely to extend significant assistance to Ukraine, and will probably instead focus on providing reassurance to the alliance’s own membership. Read more »

NATO: Suddenly Relevant, Deeply Divided

by Stewart M. Patrick and Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick Thursday, August 28, 2014
NATO secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks during an interview at the alliance's headquarters in Brussels on August 11, 2014. NATO secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks during an interview at the alliance's headquarters in Brussels on August 11, 2014 (Yves Herman/Courtesy Reuters).

Coauthored with Daniel Chardell, research associate in the International Institutions and Global Governance program. Read more »