Global Institutions

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Snapshot,
Kip Hale

In 2002, the International Criminal Court (ICC) came into being. At the time, observers were hopeful that rule of law could help constrain humanity’s worst impulses, a sentiment that, today, may seem foolhardy. Yet, where else would victims turn? Ruthless tyrants and their henchmen have killed, raped, and tortured innocents, and few, if any, international institutions have been able to stop them or provide justice after the fact.

Snapshot,
Matthew Goodman and Ely Ratner

Nearly two centuries after it lost its traditional place at the center of Asian affairs, Beijing has begun giving shape and substance to its renewed leadership on the regional stage.

Snapshot,
Sarah E. Mendelson

With the MDGs coming to an end in 2015, the international community is now close to agreeing to what comes next. And here, there is some good news for those working to end trafficking. In several places, the draft goals explicitly and implicitly address combating human trafficking and ending modern slavery.

Snapshot,
Surupa Gupta and Sumit Ganguly

India's farmers hold enormous sway over New Delhi's policymaking. Narendra Modi may have come to power as a free-market reformer, but the fear of being portrayed as anti-farmer has led him to block a trademark WTO deal that India had previously approved. 

Snapshot,
Fran Quigley

A deadly 2010 outbreak of cholera in Haiti was quickly traced to a UN camp, but the UN has been slow to take responsibility. In response, Haitian lawyers and advocates have decided to sue the international organization for damages. They might not win their case, but their efforts could at least leave Haiti with a better-functioning legal system.

Essay, Jan/Feb 2014
Stewart Patrick

International cooperation is increasingly taking place outside formal institutions, as frustrated actors turn to informal groups and ad hoc venues. The resulting clutter may be unsightly, but it’s here to stay -- so the challenge is to make it work as well as possible.

Snapshot,
Bilal Y. Saab

A UN peacekeeping mission has kept the peace along the Israeli-Syrian border for 40 years. But the strain of war is crushing the force -- making it even likelier that the Syrian conflict will engulf the wider Middle East.

Essay, Nov/Dec 2013
Ronald K. Noble

Cutting-edge scientific research such as synthetic biology has brought extraordinary advancements for society, but also terrifying dangers. A global policing strategy for synthetic biology should expand awareness of the potential threats but must not impede scientific discovery.

Snapshot,
Timothy William Waters

Despite protests from Libya, the ICC's decision to try Saif al-Islam, the son of the Libyan dictator Muammar al-Qaddafi, might seem to offer a chance for real justice. It doesn't.

Snapshot,
Betcy Jose

Much of the recent debate about Syria stressed the importance of preserving the taboo on chemical weapons, which were banned in part because they are difficult to control and can harm civilians who are not the intended targets. Yet it appears that the Assad regime purposefully targeted civilians and, by doing so, broke an even more important international norm.

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