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

Latin America Looks for a Fresh Start With Obama

The region has globalized over the last eight years and should not be treated as an afterthought by the US
Tim Padgett
January 20, 2009

As Obama Takes Office, Global Press Turns to Regional Concerns

Obama inaugurates a global moment where hope outshines doubt
Richard Wike
January 23, 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