Council on Foreign Relations Global Governance Update
April 2014

Dear Colleague:

This year has seen its share of global challenges, from the protracted and deteriorating humanitarian crisis in Syria to Russia's annexation of Crimea. In recent months, the International Institutions and Global Governance (IIGG) program has explored these topics and a host of other flashpoint issues by publishing a new working paper that discusses the power of the "international community," releasing a new installment of the Council of Councils (CoC) Global Memo series, and convening the fifth CoC Regional Conference in Sydney, Australia.

As we continue to develop new ideas, publications, and tools to illuminate contemporary global issues, we invite you to read our newsletter, explore our website, follow me on Twitter, and "like" us on Facebook.


Stewart M. Patrick

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


Council of Councils Regional Conference in Sydney

In late February, CFR and the Lowy Institute for International Policy convened the fifth Council of Councils Regional Conference in Sydney, Australia. Participants discussed how to revitalize the Group of Twenty (G20), how to respond to the global challenge of Iran, the benefits of "minilateralism" versus multilateralism in Asia, maritime security challenges in the Asia Pacific, prospects for the Trans-Pacific Partnership and expanding global trade, and whether there should there be rules for how states exploit cyberspace. The conference also included keynote addresses from top policymakers, including Peter Varghese AO, secretary of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and John Howard, former prime minister of Australia. Learn more about the event »

Considering New Approaches to the Global Drug Trade

Virginia Comolli

IIGG added a new installment of the Council of Councils Global Memo series. Virginia Comolli, research fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, discusses the effects of the global drug trade, the failure of the existing efforts to bring it under control, and the growing movement to emphasize demand reduction over law enforcement efforts to cut off supply. Her memo is featured on the new Council of Councils website. The Global Memo is a monthly brief by an international expert on a major global event or significant global governance issue. The series is part of the Council of Councils initiative, which aims to connect leading foreign policy institutes from around the world in a common conversation on issues of global governance and multilateral cooperation. Read the Global Memo »

Making Sense of the “International Community”

Todd Lindberg

When policymakers and pundits invoke the "international community," they often refer to very different groupings of international actors. In IIGG's latest Working Paper, Tod Lindberg explores the theoretical underpinnings and the historical development of international institutions to define the concept of "international community." Examining the term through legal, sociological, and critical perspectives, Lindberg argues that the international community represents an intersection of morality and politics in the form of liberal normative ideals played out in global affairs. In practice, the term can and should be used when there is clear consensus on an issue; but on controversial questions, citing the international community risks undermining its legitimacy. Read the working paper »

The Internationalist

In his blog, Stewart M. Patrick looks beyond the headlines at the forces transforming global politics and how the United States should respond.

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Preventive Priorities Survey 2014



The International Institutions and Global Governance (IIGG) program aims to identify the institutional requirements for effective multilateral cooperation in the twenty-first century; propose reforms to strengthen or replace international institutions; and promote effective responses by the United States and its partners to today's daunting global challenges.

Stewart M. Patrick
Senior Fellow and Director

Miles Kahler
Senior Fellow for Global Governance

Esther Brimmer
Adjunct Senior Fellow for International Institutions

Megan Roberts
Associate Director

Alexandra Kerr
Assistant Director

Daniel Chardell
Research Associate

Naomi Egel
Research Associate

Theresa Lou
Research Associate


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