Senior Fellow and Director of the International Institutions and Global Governance Program
Multilateral cooperation, international institutions and global governance; United Nations; weak and failing states; foreign assistance and post-conflict reconstruction; transnational threats; U.S. foreign policy; diplomatic history.
Dr. Stewart Patrick is senior fellow and director of the International Institutions and Global Governance Program at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). His areas of expertise include multilateral cooperation in the management of global issues; U.S. policy toward international institutions, including the United Nations; the challenges posed by fragile, failing, and post-conflict states; and the integration of U.S. defense, development, and diplomatic instruments in U.S. foreign and national security policy. Dr. Patrick is the author of the book Weak Links: Fragile States, Global Threats, and International Security, and he writes the blog, The Internationalist.
From February 2005 to April 2008, he was research fellow at the Center for Global Development. He directed the Center's research and policy engagement on the intersection between security and development, with a particular focus on the relationship between weak states and transnational threats and on the policy challenges of building effective institutions of governance in fragile settings. He also served as a professorial lecturer in international relations/conflict management at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies.
From September 2002 to January 2005, Dr. Patrick served on the secretary of state's policy planning staff, with lead staff responsibility for U.S. policy toward Afghanistan and a range of global and transnational issues. His portfolio included conducting analysis and providing recommendations for U.S. policies on weak and failing states, post-conflict reconstruction, development, refugees and migration, international law enforcement, and global health affairs. He joined the staff as an international affairs fellow at CFR. Prior to government service, Patrick was from 1997 to 2002 a research associate at the Center on International Cooperation at New York University. In that capacity he designed and ran two multi-scholar research programs on post-conflict reconstruction and on multilateralism and U.S. foreign policy. He also taught U.S. foreign policy at NYU as an adjunct professor of political science.
He graduated from Stanford University and received his doctorate in international relations, as well as two masters' degrees, from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He is the author, coauthor, or editor of five books and the author of numerous articles and chapters on the subjects of multilateral cooperation, state-building, and U.S. foreign policy.
Dr. Patrick lives in Bethesda, Maryland, and has three children.
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CFR Director of the International Institutions and Global Governance Program and author of Weak Links: Fragile States, Global Threats, and International Security.
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On Conversations With History, Patrick discusses the criteria for defining fragile states and for creating benchmarks for evaluating whether they pose national security threats with reference to terrorism proliferation, criminal activity, energy insecurity and infectious disease. He argues that in most cases the links are tenuous and the focus on one category obscures the challenges these states actually pose for the U.S. and the community of nations. He proposes that the United States focus on an early warning system that anticipates problem areas, identify local environments that shape harmful outcomes, engage in multilateral solutions, and de-emphasize the over reliance on military solutions.
Patrick discusses his new book, Weak Links: Fragile States, Global Threats, and International Security, with Voice of America's Eric Felten.
Stewart Patrick challenges the assumption in U.S. foreign policy that weak and failing states are universally threatening to global stability, and argues that the danger is more nuanced and contingent on many factors.
The Global Governance Monitor tracks, maps, and evaluates multilateral efforts to address today's global challenges, including armed conflict, public health, climate change, ocean governance, financial coordination, nuclear proliferation, and terrorism.