Stewart M. Patrick

The Internationalist

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

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The New “Space Race” for Civil Society and Democracy

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
Egyptian activists accused of working for outlawed non-governmental organizations stand trial in Cairo in February 2014. Egyptian activists accused of working for outlawed non-governmental organizations stand trial in Cairo in February 2014 (Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Courtesy Reuters).

Civil society plays a central role in securing and upholding democratic governance worldwide. However, from Egypt to Russia, authoritarian governments are reverse engineering civil society’s tactics, threatening to undermine the campaign for liberal rule. As civil society fights for space in which to dissent, rally for reform, and express itself freely, illiberal states are squeezing that space. My colleague Mark P. Lagon, adjunct senior fellow for human rights at the Council on Foreign Relations and professor at Georgetown University, calls this the “new space race” in his just-released CFR Expert Brief, “Fighting for Civil Society’s Space.” He recommends an approach to global diplomacy to ensure open space for reformers. Here’s an excerpt. Read more »

Winter is Coming: Beyond the IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings, an Unfinished Battle for Reform

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde enters the opening of a news conference in Washington April 10, 2014 (Gary Cameron/Courtesy Reuters). International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde enters the opening of a news conference in Washington April 10, 2014 (Gary Cameron/Courtesy Reuters).

Below is a guest post by Claire Schachterresearch associate in the International Institutions and Global Governance program.

The Spring Meetings of the IMF and World Bank Group are underway in Washington, DC. The world’s top finance officials are painting the brightest picture of the global economy since the 2008 financial crisis: global growth is picking up, the United States’ recovery is gaining traction, and the future of the euro appears less precarious. But if one steps back to view the scene with a broader perspective, the portrait darkens. From slower emerging market growth to risk in China’s shadow banking sector to weak internal demand in the southern part of the euro area, the steady recovery of the global economy is hardly a sure bet. Unfinished economic and financial policy reforms litter the post-2008 landscape. A renewed commitment to improving the resilience of the global economy from domestic leaders and international financial governance institutions is critical. Read more »

Wherefore Art Thou ASEAN? Typhoon Haiyan’s Teachable Moment

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
A survivor carries plastic jugs as he searches for fresh water in an area devastated by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippine city of Tacloban on November 18, 2013 (Damir Sagolj/Courtesy Reuters). A survivor carries plastic jugs as he searches for fresh water in an area devastated by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippine city of Tacloban on November 18, 2013 (Damir Sagolj/Courtesy Reuters).

Below is a guest post by Jeffrey Wrightresearch associate in the International Institutions and Global Governance program.

On November 8, Typhoon Haiyan blasted through the heart of the Philippines, leaving thousands dead and the country’s midsection flattened. One of the most powerful storms in recorded history, Haiyan carved a path of destruction reminiscent of the Asian tsunami in 2004 that demolished Indonesia’s Aceh province and other coastal areas in the Bay of Bengal. Similar to that disaster, the poorest citizens bore the brunt of calamity in the archipelago, their matchstick homes and enterprises reduced to rubble. Read more »

Customary International Law: Can UN Guidelines Affect Domestic Laws?

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
In 2004, people line up for entry into the U.S. Supreme Court where justices determined that executions of teenage killers are unconstitutionally cruel and unusual. In their decision, the court took into account the practice of countries around the world (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters). In 2004, people line up for entry into the U.S. Supreme Court where justices determined that executions of teenage killers are unconstitutionally cruel and unusual. In their decision, the court took into account the practice of countries around the world (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters).

Below is a guest post by Martin Willner, research associate in the International Institutions and Global Governance program.

More often than not, when we think about customs and laws, we think of them as two distinct categories. Customs are encouraged, but optional: replying to an RSVP request, writing a thank-you note, shaking hands. Laws are mandatory: stopping at red lights, paying taxes, going to jury duty. As Kipling might put it, custom is custom and law is law and never the twain shall meet. Read more »

Guest Post: Clash of Interpretations: Was the UN “Attacked”?

by Stewart M. Patrick

People use computers in an internet cafe in Shanghai. (Nir Elias/ Courtesy Reuters).

After the release of a report this week revealing significant gaps in cybersecurity among states, the private sector, and international institutions questions remain about what to do moving forward.  My colleague, Ryan Kaminski, who holds a  B.A. from the University of Chicago and a M.A. from Columbia University, offers his assessment.

Read more »

Guest Post: Libya’s Lessons for Global Governance

by Stewart M. Patrick

A Libyan man attends the Friday prayer near a courthouse in Benghazi. (Esam Al-Fetori/ Courtesy Reuters).

After a mixed-bag of news coming from Libya this week, numerous questions have emerged regarding international interventions both in Libya and elsewhere.  My colleague, Mark P. Lagon, adjunct senior fellow in human rights at the Council on Foreign Relations and international relations chair for Georgetown University’s Master of Science in Foreign Service program, offers his assessment.

Lawyers often say, “Hard cases make bad law.”   Yet the hard case of Libya raises important questions and lessons on meaningful global governance today. 

Read more »