Stewart M. Patrick

The Internationalist

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

Posts by Category

Showing posts for "U.S. Foreign Policy"

The Iran Deal and the Future of Nuclear Order

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
The flag of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) flies in front of its headquarters in Vienna, Austria, on May 28, 2015. The flag of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) flies in front of its headquarters in Vienna, Austria, on May 28, 2015 (Heinz-Peter Bader/Reuters).

The following is a guest post by my colleague Adam Mount, a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Though the atomic bomb was first developed in 1945, it was not until 1957 that the U.S. intelligence community conducted its first forecast of how nuclear weapons might spread around the world. That first estimate concluded that some ten countries had the capability to build the bomb in the next decade. Six years later, President John F. Kennedy warned that the 1970s could see a world in which twenty-five countries possessed nuclear weapons. This counterfactual—what would the world look like without the nonproliferation regime?—is one of the most important and vexing questions in international politics. Read more »

Multilateralism à la Carte: The New World of Global Governance

by Stewart M. Patrick
A view of the United Nations headquarters in New York. A view of the United Nations headquarters in New York (Eric Thayer/Reuters).

Back in 2001, State Department policy planning director Richard N. Haass coined a catchy new foreign policy phrase: “multilateralism à la carte.” Asked by the New York Times about why the administration of George W. Bush rejected high-profile international treaties like the International Criminal Court, he denied that the White House was “unilateralist”—it was just “choosy.” Rather than sign up to every new commitment, the United States would pick and choose based on which treaty or organization brought more bang for the buck and limited constraints on U.S. freedom of action. Read more »

International Cooperation: Still Alive and Kicking

by Stewart M. Patrick
U.S. President Barack Obama meets with the leaders of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries in Beijing, China, on November 10, 2014. U.S. President Barack Obama meets with the leaders of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries in Beijing, China, on November 10, 2014 (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters).

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

Earlier this month, the International Institutions and Global Governance program cohosted the Princeton Workshop on Global Governance, which brought together scholars and practitioners to assess geopolitics and global cooperation. The main takeaway: international cooperation may be messy and it may be taking new forms, but it’s not going anywhere. Read more »

Senator Rubio and U.S. “Leadership”: Three Questions for the Candidate

by Stewart M. Patrick
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio announces his 2016 presidential campaign at the Freedom Tower in Miami, Florida, on April 13, 2015. U.S. Senator Marco Rubio announces his 2016 presidential campaign at the Freedom Tower in Miami, Florida, on April 13, 2015 (Joe Skipper/Courtesy Reuters).

The decision by Marco Rubio to seek the Republican presidential nomination is audacious. But it would be a mistake to underestimate the first-term senator from Florida. As the current occupant of the White House attests, a thin political resume is no barrier to the highest office in the land when you have charisma and a compelling biography. Read more »

The Odd Couple: Democrats, Republicans, and the New Politics of Trade

by Stewart M. Patrick
A policewoman removes a man protesting the Transpacific Partnership (TPP) as U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman testifies before a Senate Finance Committee hearing on January 27, 2015. A policewoman removes a man protesting the Transpacific Partnership (TPP) as U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman testifies before a Senate Finance Committee hearing on January 27, 2015 (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters).

Politics, as the saying goes, makes strange bedfellows. This is certainly true in today’s fast-changing U.S. trade debate. The Obama administration has counted on strong GOP support for the centerpiece of its second term agenda: the Transpacific Partnership (TPP). Suddenly, right-wing Republicans are making common cause with left-wing Democrats, attacking the proposed twelve-nation blockbuster deal. The reason for this odd coupling? A little thing called sovereignty. Read more »

Present at the Creation, Beijing-Style

by Stewart M. Patrick
Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei signs a memorandum of understanding on the establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) alongside founding member states in Beijing, China, on October 24, 2014. Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei signs a memorandum of understanding on the establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) alongside founding member states in Beijing, China, on October 24, 2014 (Takaki Yajima/Courtesy Reuters).

The decision by America’s four most important European allies to become founding members of the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is no mere diplomatic setback for Washington. It is a body blow to the U.S.-led international order created in the wake of World War II, which is crumbling before our eyes. The world rising to replace it will be a messy system of competing multilateral institutions in which the United States and China vie for supremacy. Read more »

Economic Coalition of the Willing: The OECD and Emerging Powers

by Stewart M. Patrick
A view of the OECD Conference Centre entrance in Paris, France, January 2011. A view of the OECD Conference Centre entrance in Paris, France, January 2011 (Michael Dean/OECD).

In an article just published by Foreign Affairs, Naomi Egel and I argue that the OECD’s approach to engaging emerging powers as “key partners” is a smart way to remain relevant as the global balance of power shifts. Other multilateral organizations should learn from its example. Read more »

The State of Global Governance: A Conversation with Joseph Nye

by Stewart M. Patrick
A view of the United Nations Security Council during a meeting on the Ebola crisis in October 2014. A view of the United Nations Security Council during a meeting on the Ebola crisis in October 2014 (Eduardo Munoz /Courtesy Reuters).

Last month, at the International Studies Association 2015 Annual Conference in New Orleans, I had the pleasure of moderating a discussion on the state of global governance with Joseph S. Nye Jr., Harvard University distinguished service professor at the Harvard Kennedy School and author of the new book, Is the American Century Over? Read more »

Transnational Terrorism: Three Things to Know

by Stewart M. Patrick
An armed French soldier stands beneath the Eiffel Tower days after the terrorist attacks against the offices of the Charlie Hebdo magazine and a kosher supermarket in Paris, France. An armed French soldier stands beneath the Eiffel Tower days after the terrorist attacks against the offices of the Charlie Hebdo magazine and a kosher supermarket in Paris, France (Eric Gaillard/Courtesy Reuters).

Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, combating transnational terrorism has remained a priority for the United States and countries around the world. However, the threat posed by terrorism today is fundamentally different than the one that we confronted on 9/11, as are the tools that we are now bringing to bear against it. Read more »

Obama’s National Security Strategy: New Framework, Same Policies

by Stewart M. Patrick
U.S. President Barack Obama walks toward the Oval Office after stepping off Marine One at the White House in Washington, DC, on January 22, 2015. U.S. President Barack Obama walks toward the Oval Office after stepping off Marine One at the White House in Washington, DC, on January 22, 2015 (Larry Downing/Courtesy Reuters).

The new U.S. National Security Strategy (NSS), released today, contains few surprises. After six years in office, the Obama administration will not change its basic course. Still, the document represents an important intellectual departure from past iterations—notably in its focus on “strategic patience,” its expansive definition of U.S. national security, and its explicit emphasis on the institutional foundations of world order. Read more »