A cornerstone of the Trump administration’s foreign policy has been a determination to defend the United States from perceived assaults and infringements on its national sovereignty. But how big a threat do international organisations and treaties really pose to US independence and freedom of action? A closer look reveals that US sovereignty, properly understood, can be reconciled with the multilateral cooperation urgently needed to address global problems.

Stewart M. Patrick's book The Sovereignty Wars places the Trump administration's obsession with sovereignty in historical perspective, showing how it is part of an enduring debate over how to reconcile America with the world. It argues that an overly narrow conception of sovereignty is ultimately self-defeating, hindering the nation from pursuing its destiny in a global age.

Stewart M. Patrick, the James H. Binger Senior Fellow in Global Governance and Director of the International Institutions and Global Governance Program at the Council on Foreign Relations, discussed his book and these issues in a conversation with USSC Non-Resident Senior Fellow Elsina Wainwright at this event.