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 Reluctant to Lead

Unless Beijing assumes its global responsibility, the US will be left to act alone
Orville Schell
March 11, 2009

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


Monitoring America

More than 4000 US counterterrorism groups check local citizen activities for internal threats
Dana Priest, William M. Arkin
December 30, 2010

After Disputed Ivory Coast Election, Africa Tries to Break a Bloody Cycle

Too often, African leaders like Gbagbo stay beyond their welcome
Vivienne Walt
December 27, 2010

WikiLeaks Poses Legal Challenges for US Prosecutors

US analysts restricted from reading classified cables easily viewed by foreign counterparts
Kate Woodsome
December 27, 2010

Europe's Last Dictatorship Shows Violent Side

After disputed election results, Belarus government takes harsh steps against protests
Benjamin Bidder
December 20, 2010

WikiLeaks and the Long Haul

Conflicted democracies, wrestling with WikiLeaks’ abrupt transparency, find legal shortcuts tempting
Clay Shirky
December 14, 2010