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Stewart M. Patrick

Senior Fellow and Director of the International Institutions and Global Governance Program

Expertise

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.

Bio

Stewart Patrick is the senior fellow and director of the program on International Institutions and Global Governance (IIGG) 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; and the challenges posed by fragile, failing, and post-conflict states. Patrick is the author of the new book Weak Links: Fragile States, Global Threats, and International Security (Oxford University Press, May 2011), and he writes the blog, The Internationalist.

From 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, 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.

Patrick graduated from Stanford University and received his doctorate in international relations, as well as two master's degrees, from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He is the author, coauthor, or editor of five books. He has also authored numerous articles and chapters on the subjects of multilateral cooperation, state-building, and U.S. foreign policy.

Patrick lives in Bethesda, Maryland. He has three children.

Improving International Cooperation to Tackle Shared Challenges

In the twenty-first century, no single country can confront its major foreign policy challenges alone. Terrorists and disease hopscotch across borders, while financial crises contaminate economies around the world and climate change threatens the entire planet—to name only a few of the world's shared challenges. The rise of new powers, the mounting influence of nonstate actors, and the growing importance of regional and subregional organizations are all symptomatic of a shifting world order. This new world necessitates effective multilateral action more than ever before. Rising powers need to be integrated, and global institutions need to design strategies for collaborating with increasingly important regional organizations. The International Institutions and Global Governance Program (IIGG), which I direct, analyzes how to achieve these goals in Working Papers, Policy Innovation Memoranda, and Council Special Reports. Our award-winning Global Governance Monitor and Global Governance Report Card also provide comprehensive analysis of international cooperation on an interactive platform. In my blog, The Internationalist, and on Twitter, I analyze global governance issues in the news. Finally, my roundtable meetings gather policymakers, practitioners, and leading scholars to generate innovative and practical solutions for today's greatest global governance challenges.

This project is made possible through the support of the Robina Foundation.

Council of Councils: Connecting Think Tanks Around the World

While the United States has often stood as a leader in global governance in recent decades, the participation of other major powers has always been critical. In an era of globalization, consultation and cooperation with other major powers is even more crucial. Today, governments around the world face opportunities and threats that transcend borders. To help direct high-level attention to considering how countries can cooperate on today's most pressing challenges, I direct the Council of Councils (CoC) initiative. The CoC is a network of twenty-four international foreign policy think tanks dedicated to understanding and improving multilateral cooperation. As part of the CoC, influential opinion leaders from developed and developing countries gather alongside emerging powers for an annual meeting in the United States and for regional meetings in CoC member countries. These events allow policy analysts from around the world to develop innovative policy responses to global challenges, with the ultimate purpose of injecting the group's ideas into high-level foreign policy circles within member countries. In addition to facilitating discussions between members, the network connects citizens around the world to a diversity of perspectives from CoC scholars in expert briefs, which are hosted on a dedicated webpage.

This project is made possible through the support of the Robina Foundation.

The Future of U.S. Sovereignty in an Age of Global Challenges

Traditional ideas of sovereignty are being tested in revolutionary ways as the velocity and volume of cross-border flows accelerates, new transnational threats emerge, and nonstate actors leverage technology to exert unprecedented influence over international affairs. These have all resulted in new trends in international law. While state sovereignty remains the cornerstone of the international world order and a prerequisite for effective international cooperation, the nature of how states apply and exercise sovereignty is shifting. In my forthcoming book, The Future of U.S. Sovereignty in an Age of Global Challenges, I argue that to advance its national interests in the twenty-first century, the United States must adopt a more pragmatic and flexible attitude toward national sovereignty. As global interdependence deepens, the only way to preserve national security and advance economic prosperity is through effective multilateral cooperation, including, at times, voluntarily delegating authority to international bodies. Doing so will enable the United States to continue to shape its destiny and promote international outcomes that are consistent with U.S. preferences.

This project is made possible through the support of the Robina Foundation.

Featured Publications

All Publications

Policy Innovation Memorandum No. 48

Designing a Global Coalition of Medicines Regulators

Authors: Stewart M. Patrick and Jeffrey Wright

The marketplace for medicines is highly fragmented and globalized, posing acute public health threats. Stewart Patrick and Jeffrey Wright assert that a global coalition of medicines regulators, designed with distinct features in mind, would better ensure the safety and integrity of our medicines.

See more in Global; Pharmaceuticals and Vaccines; Health Policy and Initiatives

Op-Ed

Extracting Justice: Battling Corruption in Resource-Rich Africa

Authors: Stewart M. Patrick and Isabella Bennett
devex

In Africa, the most daunting obstacle to economic growth is rampant corruption that robs citizens of billions of dollars every year. Improving governance in the extractive industries—which are particularly prone to corruption—would go a long way toward achieving more robust and inclusive prosperity, write Stewart M. Patrick and Isabella Bennett.

See more in Africa (sub-Saharan); Corruption and Bribery; Energy and Environment

Ask CFR Experts

Do stronger international institutions necessarily mean a weaker United States?

Asked by Aisling L
Author: Stewart M. Patrick

International institutions provide a platform for promoting, formalizing, and enforcing rules, norms, and regimes that regulate state behavior. As a leader in many of these fora, the United States is well positioned to promote its national interests through multilateral partnerships. Multilateral consensus is uniquely capable of legitimizing U.S. action and spreading burdens of leadership.

Read full answer

See more in Global; Global Governance

Podcast

The World Next Week: August 22, 2013

A preview of world events in the coming week from CFR.org: Trade officials debate the Trans-Pacific Partnership; Afghan president Hamid Karzai visits Pakistan; the UN Security Council reviews several missions; and the U.S. Open tennis tournament begins.

See more in Global; Politics and Strategy

Podcast

The World Next Week: July 11, 2013

A preview of world events in the coming week from CFR.org: Egypt faces turmoil during transition; the UN Security Council meets to discuss African conflicts and the protection of journalists worldwide; and North and South Korea resume Kaesong talks.

See more in Global; Politics and Strategy

Ask CFR Experts

Will the United States set up a NATO-like Pacific Treaty Organization in Asia? If so, how?

Asked by Felix Seidler, from Institute for Security Policy at the University of Kiel, Germany
Author: Stewart M. Patrick

Despite its strategic "rebalancing" toward Asia, the United States is unlikely to sponsor a collective defense organization for the Asia-Pacific, for at least three reasons: insufficient solidarity among diverse regional partners, fear of alienating China, and the perceived advantages of bilateral and ad-hoc security arrangements.

Read full answer

See more in Asia and Pacific; United States; Defense and Security; International Organizations and Alliances

Podcast

The World Next Week: May 2, 2013

A preview of world events in the coming week from CFR.org: South Korean President Park visits the United States; Pakistan holds its general election; and French president Francois Hollande and Russian president Vladimir Putin mark one-year anniversaries in office.

See more in Global; Politics and Strategy

Recent Activity from The Internationalist

Press/Panels

Radio Interview

Global Dispatches: Episode 116: Stewart Patrick

In an interview for the Global Dispatches podcast with Mark L. Goldberg, Stewart Patrick discusses global governance and how the evolution of human culture shapes international law and norms.

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Article

And this year's Nobel Peace Prize winner is…

In an interview with Al Jazeera, Stewart Patrick discusses the prospects for U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

Panel

CFR Media Call: Europe's Migration Crisis

In a CFR media call, Stewart Patrick and Sebastian Mallaby discuss the political, economic, humanitarian, and legal ramifications of Europe's migration crisis, as well as its impact on migrants and the countries in which they are seeking refuge.

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Radio Interview

Escalating Global Migrant Crisis

In an interview on Secure Freedom Radio with Frank Gaffney, Stewart Patrick discusses how the world should respond to the migrant crisis in Europe.

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Article

Arctic scramble spurs new debate over U.N. Law of the Sea pact

Ratifying the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea would bolster U.S. credibility as a champion of the international rule of law with regard to freedom of navigation and the peaceful settlement of jurisdictional disputes, says Stewart Patrick in an interview with Guy Taylor of the Washington Times.

Article

Pressure mounts on WHO chief over Ebola

In a CNBC article on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, Stewart Patrick notes that the World Health Organization failed to designate the epidemic as a public health emergency of international concern until August 2014, after more than one thousand people had already died.

Radio Interview

BBC Radio 4: The World Tonight

Speaking with Ritula Shah of BBC's “The World Tonight,” Stewart Patrick discusses the challenges facing, and shortage of, humanitarian assistance in Syria.

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Article

Syria, Ebola failures highlight UN shortcomings

In the wake of failed global efforts to address conflict in Syria and the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, Stewart Patrick reflects on the difficulties of shepherding UN reform.

Radio Interview

To the Point: American Leadership in a Changing World

Stewart Patrick discusses President Obama's landmark speech at the sixty-ninth session of the United Nations General Assembly and what it means for the future of U.S. leadership in combating terrorism and countering challenges to world order.

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Article

Five questions about W.H. Ebola push

In the Washington Examiner, Stewart Patrick discusses the misplaced faith in the capacity and willingness of international institutions to cope with the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Radio Interview

The World Next Week Podcast for CFR.org

Stewart Patrick offers preview of world events in the coming week: World powers convene in Geneva to discuss Syria; the EU considers peacekeepers for the Central African Republic; and Latin American and Caribbean officials meet in Cuba.

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Video Interview

C-Span/ Washington Journal: U.S.-Iran-Syria Relations

Stewart Patrick reviews the 68th United Nations General Assembly meeting and responds to telephone calls and electronic communications. Topics included the possibility of a change in U.S.-Iran relations and the latest development in Syria.

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Video Interview

CTVNews: Syrian Chemical Weapons Summit

Stewart Patrick joins the Canadian Television News Channel to discuss negotiations between Russia and the United States following Syria's use of chemical weapons.

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Radio Interview

U.S. Faces Fight At Intersection Of Crime And Extremism

In a piece detailing the increasingly problematic trade of drugs and illicit weapons in Guinea-Bissau, Patrick explains to Tom Bowman of NPR that the country is a quintessential narco-state with a monthly trade of over $300 million in cocaine. The interview and the piece also discuss the extradition of five drug runners suspected of providing surface-to-air missiles to Columbia in exchange for drugs and implicates the military of Guinea-Bissau in the transnational criminal network.

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Radio Interview

Sirius XM's POTUS Channel: The Morning Briefing with Stewart Patrick

Listen to Stewart Patrick's post-election interview with Tim Farley on "The Morning Briefing," a daily program of the Syrius XM President of the United States (POTUS) Channel. The morning after the United States reelects President Barack Obama, Patrick analyzes the major challenges that the Obama administration must address—including cooperating with Israeli partners to discourage a preventive strike and bolstering support for the rebels in Syria to stop the escalating atrocities against civilians. Follow the Morning Brief on Twitter @MorningBriefing or on Facebook.

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Video Interview

Conversations With History: Stewart Patrick

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.

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