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.

Taiwan's Challenge to China and the World - Part I

Taiwan's democratic exercise provokes muscle flexing in Beijing and keeps Western defense industries in business
Jean-Pierre Cabestan
March 12, 2004

Why Not a World Poll Before the US Election?

US electorate and policymakers would benefit from an Internet-based global poll on presidential candidates
Yoichi Funabashi
March 17, 2004

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

China Reluctant to Lead

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

Regional Fallout from Thai Turmoil

Political wrangling threatens stability and prosperity throughout Southeast Asia
Bertil Lintner
January 15, 2009

France vs EU: Bitter War of Words Escalates

Far right and far left lulled by protectionism
June 24, 2013

Brazil Closer to Boeing on Jets Deal

Military investment could reinforce US-Brazilian trade relationship
Brian Winter
May 31, 2013

Xi Strengthens Ties With Latin America

China is top trade partner for more than 120 nations
Yu Bing
June 7, 2013

Why US Is Being Humiliated by the Hunt for Snowden

Many wonder about a spy program not kept secret and secure
Simon Tisdall
July 9, 2013

Rerouted Morales Plane Has South American Leaders Irate

Europe reroutes Bolivian president’s plane in hunt for Snowden
July 5, 2013