Stewart M. Patrick

The Internationalist

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

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NATO: Suddenly Relevant, Deeply Divided

by Stewart M. Patrick and Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
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 »

Russia Assaults Ukraine—and the Liberal World Order

by Stewart M. Patrick
Alexander Zakharchenko, prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, speaks to the media on August 28, 2014. Zakharchenko claimed that Russian soldiers, on leave from their posts, are fighting Ukrainian troops alongside pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine. Alexander Zakharchenko, prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, speaks to the media on August 28, 2014. Zakharchenko claimed that Russian soldiers, on leave from their posts, are fighting Ukrainian troops alongside pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine (Maxim Shemetov/Courtesy Reuters).

Accummulating reports that more than a thousand Russian troops are now engaged in combat in eastern Ukraine signals the definitive end of the “post-Cold War” world. That phrase, which framed a quarter century in terms of what it was not, was never a felicitous one. But it did come to suggest a new era in which great power frictions were in abeyance, as the focus of world politics shifted to the management of global interdependence, the integration of emerging economies, the disciplining of rogue states, the quarantining of failed ones, and (after 9/11) the interdiction and elimination of non-state terrorist actors. Read more »

Protecting the Global Supply of Medicines

by Stewart M. Patrick
A Peruvian official examines seized counterfeit pills through a magnifying glass in Lima in August 2010. A Peruvian official examines seized counterfeit pills through a magnifying glass in Lima in August 2010 (Mariana Bazo/Courtesy Reuters).

Today, IIGG releases a new policy innovation memorandum entitled “Designing a Global Coalition of Medicines Regulators.” This policy memo assesses the regulatory landscape of the global supply chain for medicines and proposes that a multilateral coalition of regulatory authorities would substantively improve the ability of public regulators to keep pace with a dynamic global marketplace. Here is an excerpt: Read more »

Extracting Justice: Battling Corruption in Resource-Rich Africa

by Stewart M. Patrick and Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
Local residents' clothes dry over the gas pipelines running through the Eleme community near the city of Port Harcourt, a major Nigerian oil hub in the country's southeast. Local residents' clothes dry over the gas pipelines running through the Eleme community near the city of Port Harcourt, a major Nigerian oil hub in the country's southeast (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters).

Coauthored with Isabella Bennett, assistant director of the International Institutions and Global Governance program. Read more »

Authoritarianism Undercuts Turkish Aspirations

by Stewart M. Patrick and Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks before members of parliament from his Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Ankara on April 29, 2014. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks before members of parliament from his Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Ankara on April 29, 2014 (Umit Bektas/Courtesy Reuters).

Coauthored with Isabella Bennett, assistant director of the International Institutions and Global Governance program.

When the Obama administration took office in January 2009, Turkey seemed poised to join the ranks of other rising powers like Brazil and India, as a regional pivot with potentially global role. Sitting at the crossroads of East and West, riding a wave of robust economic growth, and pursuing a policy of “zero problems with neighbors,” Turkey appeared destined to finally realize its potential as a bridge between Western democracies and the Middle East and an enviable model for democratic governance in the Muslim world. Read more »

Airline Disasters Bring Obscure Global Organization to the Fore

by Stewart M. Patrick
A pro-Russian separatist stands guard over wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, shot down in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. A pro-Russian separatist stands guard over wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, shot down in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014 (Maxim Zmeyev/Courtesy Reuters).

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

You might think twice about getting on a plane these days. The headlines are full of bad news. Consider the downing of MH17 in rebel-held eastern Ukraine. Or the crash of an Air Algerie jet over a disputed region of Mali in bad weather.  Or the temporary cancellation of U.S. flights to Tel Aviv due to Hamas rocket fire. Or the still-mysterious disappearance of a Malaysian airliner in the Indian Ocean. Not to mention the fear that your fellow passenger’s “carry-ons” may include the Ebola virus. Read more »

Re-Engineering the Earth’s Climate: No Longer Science Fiction

by Stewart M. Patrick
geoengineering climate change sulfates A portrait of global aerosols is seen in this undated NASA handout released November 14, 2012. In the image, dust (red) is lifted from the surface, sea salt (blue) swirls inside cyclones, smoke (green) rises from fires, and sulfate particles (white) stream from volcanoes and fossil fuel emissions (William Putman/NASA/Goddard courtesy Reuters)

By continuing to spew greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, humanity is conducting the largest uncontrolled scientific experiment in the Earth’s 4.5 billion year history. The most recent assessment report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change paints a dire portrait. Under a “business as usual” scenario, average global temperatures are predicted to rise by between 4.5 degrees and 14 degrees Fahrenheit—and temperatures at the earth’s poles are predicted to rise by as much as 20 degrees Fahrenheit over several decades. Even under the most optimistic scenario, which presumes unprecedented mitigation efforts, average global temperatures will almost certainly rise above the 2 degrees Celsius. The catastrophic implications will include melting polar icecaps, dramatic sea rise, mass extinction events, more extreme weather events, and the death of the world’s coral reefs from ocean acidification. Unfortunately for humanity, in the words of UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, “There is No Planet B.” Read more »

Learning to Compartmentalize: How to Prevent Big Power Frictions from Becoming Major Global Headaches

by Stewart M. Patrick
U.S. President Barack Obama (C) participates in a G7 leaders meeting during the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague March 24, 2014. At the table (L-R, clockwise) are the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, French President Francois Hollande, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso. (Jerry Lampen/Courtesy Reuters). U.S. President Barack Obama (C) participates in a G7 leaders meeting during the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague March 24, 2014. At the table (L-R, clockwise) are the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, French President Francois Hollande, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso. (Jerry Lampen/Courtesy Reuters).

Coauthored by Stewart Patrick and Isabella Bennett, Assistant Director in the International Institutions and Global Governance program.

The G7 is back. Today in Brussels, it meets for the first time since 1998. The group—which includes the United States, France, the UK, Japan, Germany, Italy, and Canada—replaces the G8, after suspending Russia for its annexation of Crimea. Read more »

Obama at West Point: He Likes Ike

by Stewart M. Patrick
West Point Obama Foreign Policy Graduation Speech Commencement U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands with graduates during a commencement ceremony at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, May 28, 2014 (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters).

Twelve years ago, having already decided on a course of war with Iraq, President George W. Bush traveled to the U.S. Military Academy on June 1, 2002, to announce a new doctrine of unilateral “preemption.”  Today his successor Barack Obama delivered a very different message to West Point’s graduating seniors: The true measure of U.S. strength lies not in its capacity to act alone but in its ability to marshall international institutions and lead coalitions to advance common interests. His speech was an eloquent, reasoned defense of moderate internationalism. At the same time, it is unlikely to satisfy either self-styled “realists” who bemoan his failure to set strategic priorities or interventionists who criticize his unwillingness to use military might to advance the cause of freeom. Read more »

Voting Against Accountability for Syria

by Stewart M. Patrick
Russia's UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin votes in the United Nations Security Council against referring the Syrian crisis to the International Criminal Court for investigation of possible war crimes at the U.N. headquarters in New York May 22, 2014 (Lucas Jackson/Courtesy Reuters). Russia's UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin votes in the United Nations Security Council against referring the Syrian crisis to the International Criminal Court for investigation of possible war crimes at the U.N. headquarters in New York May 22, 2014 (Lucas Jackson/Courtesy Reuters).

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

Today the UN Security Council voted on a French draft resolution referring the situation in Syria—where government forces have systematically slaughtered civilians—to the International Criminal Court (ICC). Russia and China vetoed the resolution. While not surprising, the double veto is enormously frustrating to those demanding a stronger international response to war crimes in Syria. To some observers, the failure of this referral may signal the impossibility of ensuring accountability in a context of geopolitical rivalry. But the Obama administration’s decision to support the resolution, even in the face of near certain defeat, was appropriate and necessary—appropriate in light of its evolving relationship with the ICC and necessary given its limited options for ending the conflict in Syria. Read more »