As governments confront many challenges that are global in scale, leaders find they must cooperate in responding to financial, climate, terrorism and other crises. As a result, a global audience has developed keen interest in how and why nations select their leaders. On one hand, citizens expect sensible and collective action, transparency and fair representation; on the other hand, citizens and leaders fret about compromising security, sovereignty or loss of control. Diplomats and global organizations like the United Nations aim to achieve a balance, even as global communications allow citizens in democracies or authoritarian states to steer attention to issues. Attention to citizen demands and multilateral cooperation contribute to stability.

China’s Quiet Activists

Work by a network of NGOs to help people without challenging authorities gains new recognition
Shawn Shieh
February 25, 2009

End Game in Sri Lanka

Global factors bring long civil war to a close, but only reconciliation can end an extremist ideology
Harsh V. Pant
February 23, 2009

The Gordian Knot of Gaza

Solution to Israeli-Palestinian issue must combine aspirations of the Arab citizens with regional interest
Tamara Cofman Wittes
March 6, 2009

At Last, Justice Comes to Cambodia

Cold War politics overlooked genocide and other atrocities
Benny Widyono
February 13, 2009

A Dangerous Void in Pakistan

As the US plans to send more troops to Afghanistan, the country next door seems rudderless
Ahmed Rashid
March 4, 2009

Moments Before the Union, "Old" Europe Gets Cold Feet

Fear of an avalanche of migration is making the western states nervous about enlarging Europe
Shada Islam
March 3, 2004


Will US Patience Bring Success in Afghanistan and Iran?

New Israeli-Palestine talks could ease conflict elsewhere
David Ignatius
August 23, 2010

As Some Young Muslims Turn to Radicalism, Concern Grows

In need of funds, Afghanistan-Pakistan camps recruit among young Germans
Souad Mekhennet
August 10, 2010

Hot Political Summer as China Throttles Rare Metal Supply and Claims South China Sea

Shortsighted manufacturers could become dependent on one nation
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
August 5, 2010

Videos Rouse Russian Anger Toward Police

As politicians and media ignore corruption, YouTube becomes public confessional
Clifford J. Levy
August 4, 2010

The Age of Peace

Large concentrations of elderly can stabilize nations
Carolyn O’Hara
August 2, 2010