Stewart M. Patrick

The Internationalist

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

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Showing posts for "International Cooperation"

Nuclear Security Summit 2014: How to Make Progress Even After Ukraine

by Stewart M. Patrick
U.S. President Barack Obama (L) and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov are seen in this combination photo as they attend the opening ceremony of the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) in The Hague March 24, 2014 (Yves Herman/Courtesy Reuters). U.S. President Barack Obama (L) and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov are seen in this combination photo as they attend the opening ceremony of the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) in The Hague March 24, 2014 (Yves Herman/Courtesy Reuters).

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

Today, fifty-three countries and four international organizations are gathered in The Hague for the third Nuclear Security Summit. Russia’s annexation of Crimea has cast a shadow over the biannual meeting, threatening to distract delegates from the critical task at hand: following through on their commitments to lock down the world’s unsecured nuclear weapons, fissile material, and related technologies. The summit’s success will depend on whether the participating countries are willing to move beyond the harmonization of national pledges to construct a strong framework for nuclear security, undergirded by more powerful conventions and institutions. Read more »

At Stake in Ukraine: The Future of World Order

by Stewart M. Patrick
Military personnel, believed to be Russian servicemen, march outside the territory of a Ukrainian military unit in the village of Perevalnoye outside Simferopol March 4, 2014. Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a robust defence of Russia's actions in Crimea on Tuesday and reserved the right to use force in Ukraine as a last resort, but he sought to ease East-West tension over fears of war in the former Soviet republic (David Mdzinarishvili/Courtesy Reuters). Military personnel, believed to be Russian servicemen, march outside the territory of a Ukrainian military unit in the village of Perevalnoye outside Simferopol March 4, 2014. Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a robust defence of Russia's actions in Crimea on Tuesday and reserved the right to use force in Ukraine as a last resort, but he sought to ease East-West tension over fears of war in the former Soviet republic (David Mdzinarishvili/Courtesy Reuters).

British Foreign Secretary William Hague has aptly labeled Ukraine the “biggest crisis in Europe in the twenty-first century.” Indeed, he could have gone further. Read more »

The G20′s Growth Promise: Can They Deliver?

by Stewart M. Patrick
U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew speaks during a news conference at the G20 Central Bank Governors and Finance Ministers annual meeting in Sydney

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 »

Obama’s State of the Union: Epitaph for Neoconservatism

by Stewart M. Patrick
Vice President Joe Biden and Speaker of the House John Boehner applaud as President Barack Obama finishes his State of the Union speech on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 28, 2014 (Larry Downing/Courtesy Reuters). Vice President Joe Biden and Speaker of the House John Boehner applaud as President Barack Obama finishes his State of the Union speech on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 28, 2014 (Larry Downing/Courtesy Reuters).

As anticipated, President Obama’s State of the Union address focused overwhelmingly on domestic matters, notably steps to close the yawning income inequality in American society. Still, the speech contained important signals about Barack Obama’s approach to U.S. foreign policy in his last 1,000 days in office. Beyond a full-throated declaration that “climate change is a fact” and a plea to “fix our broken immigration system,” three broad leitmotifs jumped out. The first was the need to return to normalcy after a dozen frenzied years of the global war on terrorism. The second was the imperative of giving diplomacy a chance to resolve the gravest security threats. The third, more rhetorical than substantive, was the necessity of reframing the language of American exceptionalism. Read more »

In Search of “the International Community”

by Stewart M. Patrick
Members of the United Nations Security Council raise their hands as they vote unanimously to approve a resolution eradicating Syria's chemical arsenal during a Security Council meeting during the 68th United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 27, 2013 (Adrees Latif/Courtesy Reuters). Members of the United Nations Security Council raise their hands as they vote unanimously to approve a resolution eradicating Syria's chemical arsenal during a Security Council meeting during the 68th United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 27, 2013 (Adrees Latif/Courtesy Reuters).

“The international community” is among the most commonly invoked and most frequently vilified phrases in world politics. As Tod Lindberg points out in a new CFR working paper, “Making Sense of the International Community”,  the expression has become a verbal tic of sorts for U.S., foreign, and international officials. Thus, when the stability of post-election Kenya in 2007-2008 was threatened by violence, “the international community” sprang into action. When the repressive Burmese junta kept pro-democracy leader Aung Sang Su Kyi in confinement, “the international community” united in condemnation. When Bashar al-Assad shelled the city of Homs in 2012, “the international community” groped for an appropriate response. And so on. Read more »

Guaranteeing That Our Medicines Are Safe: Building a Global Coalition of Regulators

by Stewart M. Patrick
FDA Building 21 stands behind the sign at the campus's main entrance (Courtesy of the United States Food and Drug Administration). FDA Building 21 stands behind the sign at the campus's main entrance (Courtesy of the United States Food and Drug Administration).

Coauthored with Jeffrey Wright, research associate in the International Institutions and Global Governance program.

Two decades ago, the vast majority of legal drugs consumed in the United States were produced domestically. Today, 80 percent of the active ingredients in medicines used by Americans are fabricated abroad. Home-grown medicines industries have exploded in developing countries like Brazil, India and China. As a result, medicines are compounded many times and cross multiple borders before they reach U.S. pharmacy shelves. Domestic oversight agencies, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are therefore unable to supervise medicines’ production from start to finish, and many foreign counterpart authorities struggle to monitor and enforce adequate standards. Read more »

Good Enough Global Governance

by Stewart M. Patrick
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is seen at the podium of the General Assembly Hall (Mark Garten/UN Photo). Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is seen at the podium of the General Assembly Hall (Mark Garten/UN Photo).

International cooperation is increasingly taking place outside formal institutions, as frustrated actors turn to informal groups and ad hoc venues. The resulting clutter may be unsightly, but it’s here to stay—so the challenge is to make it work as well as possible. Read my latest article in Foreign Affairs, where I argue for good enough global governance. Available in print or online here.

Global Governance 2014: What to Look for in the Year Ahead

by Stewart M. Patrick
Participants at the G20 Summit in St. Petersburg, September 2013. (Photo: Dimitar Dilkoff/Courtesy Reuters) Participants at the G20 Summit in St. Petersburg, September 2013. (Photo: Dimitar Dilkoff/Courtesy Reuters)

In 2014, beyond watching triple salchows at the Sochi Olympics and bouncing brazucas at the World Cup, the world has a lot on its plate. Today on CFR.org, I highlight the major events at which the international community will attempt to tackle some of today’s most critical challenges. I outline how the coming year’s major summits will attempt to secure nuclear weapons, regulate the Internet, revive global trade, jumpstart economic growth, protect indigenous peoples worldwide and arrest climate change. Read the entire article here.

Latin America Charts Its Own Course: Reflections on the Mexico City CoC Meeting

by Stewart M. Patrick
Secretary General of the OAS José Miguel Insulza delivers a keynote speech at the Council of Councils Fifth Regional Conference in Mexico City, at a dinner hosted in the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs. November 25, 2013. Secretary General of the OAS José Miguel Insulza delivers a keynote speech at the Council of Councils Fifth Regional Conference in Mexico City, at a dinner hosted in the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs. November 25, 2013.

For more than two centuries the United States has loomed—for good and ill—over its southern neighbors. But that longstanding hegemonic role is fading. After two decades of robust growth and democratic consolidation, Latin America is increasingly charting its own course, not only in the hemisphere but, increasingly, around the globe. The diverse and dynamic region below the Rio Grande may still be America’s “backyard”, but it’s no backwater. And it’s evident that the United States is only beginning to adjust to these realities. Read more »

Typhoon Haiyan and Global Disaster Readiness

by Stewart M. Patrick

It will take months to fully understand the human and economic losses brought about by Typhoon Haiyan, which struck the Philippines on November 8. But at its most basic level, this occurrence underscores the importance of disaster preparedness and has spurred an important conversation about what can and cannot be done in the wake of natural disaster. Here I outline three things to know about disaster preparedness and relief. Read more »