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.

Hu Jintao Takes Personal Charge of Fight Against Charter 08

Chinese activists argue that the right to free expression could prevent instability
Mark O'Neill
January 16, 2009

Politically Incorrect

The hard facts of climate change may end political protection for industries that pollute or fail to conserve energy
Nayan Chanda
January 23, 2009

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