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Politics

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.

Economy

The global economy thrives on globalization and the increasing interdependence of finance, production, consumption and trade. Such integration has reduced poverty, yet varying national policies along with ever-increasing speed of transactions and market news have also contributed to imbalances, both among nations and within. Regulations often do not keep pace in managing cross-border debt, foreign direct investment, corporate practices, tax codes or economic bubbles. The eurozone crisis and the US subprime mortgage crisis have demonstrated that one nation’s problems and panic can spread like wildfire. Nations must combine a competitive spirit with cooperation to achieve stable economic growth and sustainable prosperity.

Environment

The Earth’s environment is the source of economic, social, cultural activities, with nature shaping human life over the centuries. The rapid growth in the world population, from 1 billion in 1830 to 7 billion today, add pressures for air quality, oceans, land use and resources as basic as water. Awareness is building about over-reliance on fossil fuels, how carbon and other emissions contribute to global warming and volatile weather. Every industry requires energy, and cross-border industrialization, transportation and other economic activities contribute to environmental degradation. Yet globalization also spurs awareness and activism over the need for global cooperation and standards to promote sustainability and environmental protection.

Politics

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.