Global Governance

Ask CFR Experts

What can international organizations do to support civil institutions in developing states?

Asked by Jack Glore, from William Paterson University

Civil institutions are critical pillars of democratic accountability—without them, democracy remains elusive, regardless of the laws written in constitutions. This is particularly true in countries dependent on oil and other natural resource wealth, and those struggling to realize democratic transitions.

Read full answer

See more in Global; International Organizations and Alliances; Democratization

Must Read

The Atlantic: The Modern King in the Arab Spring

Author: Jeffrey Goldberg

"He seems in many ways to be a contradiction—an Arab king who happens to be a direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, evangelizing for liberal, secular, democratic rule. But Abdullah, now nearly a decade and a half into his reign, is, in his own conception, a political and economic reformer. He says he understands that the Hashemite throne, and perhaps Jordan itself, will not survive the coming decades if he does not move his country briskly toward modernity."

See more in Jordan; Global Governance

Foreign Affairs Article

The Long Arm of International Law

Author: Pierre N. Leval

Thanks to a once-obscure law passed in 1789, foreign victims of foreign human rights abusers can use U.S. courts to sue their abusers. But the Supreme Court may soon ban such suits. That would be a shame, since they offer victims some measure of solace and give substance to underenforced human rights laws. The law should be upheld, and other countries should follow the U.S. lead.

See more in Courts and Tribunals; Human Rights; Global

Foreign Affairs Article

Gangster's Paradise

Author: Peter R. Andreas

Despite media hoopla, cross-border crime -- illegal drugs sales, evasion of taxes, intellectual property theft, and money laundering -- is hardly a new phenomenon. For much of history, moreover, the United States was as much perpetrator as victim. Recognizing this awkward truth should help cool down overheated debates about today's transnational problems and how to respond to them.

See more in Trade; Transnational Crime

Foreign Affairs Article

Own the Goals

Author: John W. McArthur

Since their inception in 2000, The Millennium Development Goals have revolutionized the global aid business, using specific targets to help mobilize and guide development efforts. They have encouraged world leaders to tackle multiple dimensions of poverty simultaneously and provided a standard for judging performance. As their 2015 expiration looms, the time has come to bank those successes and focus on what comes next.

See more in International Organizations and Alliances; Poverty; Global

Ask CFR Experts

What right does the United States have to use drones?

Due to the 9/11 attacks and the continued threat posed by international terrorism, the United States claims it is "currently at war with al-Qaeda and its associated forces," a conflict that extends beyond traditional battlefield settings to any country that is "unwilling or unable" to take action itself. The United States reserves the right to conduct targeted killings, although only against "senior" members of al-Qaeda who "pose an imminent threat the United States of America." Although the U.S. military has a vast array of tools in its arsenal, the primary vehicle for its targeted killings program are drones, which have been used in over 95 percent of the 420—and counting—targeted killings over the last decade.

Read full answer

See more in United States; Drones; International Law

Primary Sources

Remarks by Secretary Kerry and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, February 2013

Secretary John Kerry and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon gave these remarks before their meeting on February 14, 2013. They outlined the main issues they would discuss: North Korea's nuclear test and Six Party Talks, negotiations with Iran, the crisis in Syria, and France's intervention in Mali.

See more in Mali; Syria; North Korea; International Organizations and Alliances