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.

Shanghai Cooperation Organization Signs Agreement in Bishkek

In wake of growing American influence in Central Asia, China tightens economic ties with Russia and neighboring states
Valentinas Mite
September 25, 2004

Bush Administration Launches Latin Outreach Program

As polls show that most Latin Americans hold a negative view of the Bush administration, the State Department began a program to educate Hispanics on US policies
Pablo Bachelet
September 28, 2004

Only Hussein Had Full Picture

His generals were stunned when he told them banned arms didn't exist, report says
Bob Drogin
October 7, 2004

Akayev: We Do Democracy the Kyrgyz Way

Kyrgyz president Akayev argues against one-size-fits-all model of democratic reform
Erdin Beshimov
October 18, 2004

Patriot Qualms

The US Patriot Act handicaps the work of independent relief organizations worldwide
Paula R. Newberg
October 6, 2004