Stewart M. Patrick

The Internationalist

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

The Dragon and the Eagle at the UN: Limits to Cooperation

by Stewart M. Patrick Friday, June 10, 2011

U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao sit across from one another during a September 2009 meeting at the United Nations (Kevin Lamarque/ Courtesy Reuters).

–Beijing, June 10, 2011

The Internationalist is on the road this week, attending a Peking University workshop on “US-China Relations and the World Order.” My discussions here are reminding me that despite the best climate in years for China and the United States to cooperate in the United Nations (UN), the two countries just don’t always see eye-to-eye. Read more »

Summer Reading: Ikenberry’s Liberal Leviathan

by Stewart M. Patrick Friday, June 3, 2011

Liberal Leviathan (Princeton University Press, 2011)

Given the pervasive hand-wringing about U.S. decline, it’s refreshing to read that the West’s best days may lie ahead.

You can find that argument in John Ikenberry’s Liberal Leviathan: The Origins, Crisis, and Transformation of the American World Order. It picks up where Ikenberry’s last “big” book left off (After Victory: Institutions, Strategic Restraint, and the Rebuilding of Order After Major Wars), which argued that hegemonic powers were most successful when they exercised restraint towards lesser powers, rather than throwing their weight around. By sacrificing policy autonomy, providing public goods within multilateral institutions, and offering “voice opportunities” to junior partners, a hegemon could transform its “might” into “right”—turn power into legitimate authority.

Ikenberry insisted this would help “lock in” broad support for the hegemon’s leadership and that rising powers would therefore be less likely to challenge the global order. For example, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman transformed the United States into a “Liberal Leviathan” in the 1940s by establishing multilateral institutions and patterns of strategic restraint. (A topic on which I have also written.) As a benevolent hegemon, it enjoyed widespread authority and loyalty so that countries didn’t try to ally against it, which carried the West to triumph in the Cold War.

Read more »

The G8—It’s Baaaaack!

by Stewart M. Patrick Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A view of the Deauville beaches (Mike Kessler/ Courtesy Reuters).

Once upon a time, Group of 8 (G8) summits were all the rage. Annual meetings of the globe’s board of directors, they provided at least the illusion that the world was in steady hands. Then came the financial crisis, proving that global problems could no longer be solved in a cozy Western boardroom. The leaders’ forum must expand to include the most dynamic emerging economies, including China, India, and Brazil, and other, middle-ranking players like South Korea and Turkey. Read more »