Stewart M. Patrick

The Internationalist

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

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Showing posts for "BRICS"

Steering a World in Disarray: Ten Summits to Watch in 2017

by Stewart M. Patrick
Leaders pose for pictures during the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, China. (Damir Sagolj/Reuters)

After a tumultuous 2016, the world holds its breath for what the coming year may bring. Angry populism is on the march. Great power relations are tense. The Middle East has imploded. Meanwhile, President-Elect Donald J. Trump proposes to upend U.S. foreign policy in areas from trade to climate, alliances to nonproliferation, terrorism to human rights. In a world in disarray, can multilateralism deliver? Ten major summits during 2017 will help provide an answer. Here’s what to look for at each. Read more »

So You Want to Be a Global Power: South Africa’s Ambitions on the World Stage

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
South African President Jacob Zuma addresses attendees during the seventieth session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York on September 28, 2015. South African President Jacob Zuma addresses attendees during the seventieth session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York on September 28, 2015 (Eduardo Munoz/Reuters).

The following is a guest post by Naomi Egelresearch associate in the International Institutions and Global Governance program.

As a member of the BRICS, a leader in African peacekeeping, and an aspiring UN Security Council permanent member, South Africa plays a significant role in global governance and aspires to a greater role. To better understand the factors driving South African foreign policy—including both aspirations and limitations—the International Institutions and Global Governance program held a workshop in Cape Town on March 1, 2016, in conjunction with the South African Institute of International Affairs. Read more »

Headed South: Jacob Zuma Leads South Africa toward the Precipice

by Stewart M. Patrick
Protesters carry placards as they take part in a "Zuma must fall" demonstration in Pretoria, South Africa, on December 16, 2015. Protesters carry placards as they take part in a "Zuma must fall" demonstration in Pretoria, South Africa, on December 16, 2015 (Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters).

—Johannesburg, March 6

South Africa is in the grips of its most serious economic and political crisis since 1994, when the country elected its first post-apartheid government under Nelson Mandela. The African National Congress (ANC), which has ruled the country since its liberation, is on the defensive. Younger South Africans—many born into freedom—are disillusioned by the ANC’s failure to deliver broad-based prosperity in what has become the world’s most unequal nation, in terms of per capita income. Most worrisome, President Jacob Zuma’s government has taken an authoritarian and corrupt turn—at the very moment the country needs bold and honest leadership. Read more »

Making Sense of “Minilateralism”: The Pros and Cons of Flexible Cooperation

by Stewart M. Patrick
The leaders of the Council of the European Union, Canada, France, the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, Japan, China, and the EU Commission meet on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague on March 24, 2014. The leaders of the Council of the European Union, Canada, France, the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, Japan, China, and the EU Commission meet on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague on March 24, 2014 (Jerry Lampen/Reuters).

A defining feature of twenty-first century multilateralism is the rising prominence of alternative forms of collective action as complements to—and often substitutes for—traditional intergovernmental cooperation. Conventional bodies—chief among them, the United Nations and the Bretton Woods institutions—may persist, but states increasingly participate in a bewildering array of flexible, ad hoc frameworks whose membership varies based on situational interests, shared values, or relevant capabilities. These institutions are often “minilateral” rather than universal; voluntary rather than legally binding; disaggregated rather than comprehensive; trans-governmental rather than just intergovernmental; regional rather than global; multi-level and multi-stakeholder rather than state-centric; and “bottom-up” rather than “top-down.” We see this across issue areas, from the Group of Seven (G7) and Group of Twenty (G20) in the realm of economic cooperation, to the growing importance of regional organizations like the African Union and ASEAN, to the emergence of alternative international financial institutions, like the BRICS New Development Bank. Read more »

The BRICS: Three Things to Know

by Stewart M. Patrick
Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures during a meeting ahead of the BRICS summit in Ufa, Russia, on July 8, 2015. Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures during a meeting ahead of the BRICS summit in Ufa, Russia, on July 8, 2015 (Sergei Ilnitsky/Reuters).

This week, the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa will gather in the Russian city of Ufa for the seventh annual summit of the BRICS. The BRICS have come a long way since 2001, when Goldman Sachs analyst Jim O’Neill coined the term “BRIC” to describe the four most dynamic emerging economies of the new century. With South Africa’s addition in 2011, the BRICS became a symbol of the shifting global political landscape—one in which the BRICS seek power and influence commensurate with their growing economic weight. Read more »

The G7 Summit: An Exclusive Club—But a Global Role

by Stewart M. Patrick
A view of the Bavarian retreat of Schloss Elmau, where leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) countries will gather for their annual summit on June 7–8, 2015. A view of the Bavarian retreat of Schloss Elmau, where leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) countries will gather for their annual summit on June 7–8, 2015 (Michaela Rehle/Reuters).

When President Obama and his fellow Group of Seven (G7) leaders convene this weekend at the Bavarian retreat of Schloss Elmau, they will face two tasks. The most obvious is to formulate common positions on a global agenda so sweeping that it will strain even the lengthiest communiqué. Their more subtle challenge is to signal that their advanced market democracies remain not only an anchor of order in a turbulent world but also a potential engine to drive global governance reform. Read more »

On the Line in Brisbane: Global Growth and G20 Credibility

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick and Stewart M. Patrick
U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and his Australian counterpart Joe Hockey speak at a media conference at the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting in the Australian city of Cairns on September 19, 2014. U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and his Australian counterpart Joe Hockey speak at a media conference at the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting in the Australian city of Cairns on September 19, 2014 (Lincoln Feast/Courtesy Reuters).

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

Could the BRICS Bank Make China More Responsible?

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
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 »