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.

The Barrel of the Gun, How Not to Promote Democracy

Modernization, not military intervention, is the key to democratization
Ronald Meinardus
August 23, 2004

Koizumi May Reopen Territory Row with Russia

Threatened “inspection” of contested islands heats diplomatic tensions
David Pilling
August 25, 2004

Bill Punishes Cuba Travelers

Citing links to terrorism, a US Congressman proposes stripping government benefits from travelers to Cuba
Lesley Clark
August 25, 2004

Kabul Needs Good Neighbours

Regional stability and Afghan development are inextricably linked
Stanley A. Weiss
September 7, 2004

Saudi Surprise

Why are the Saudis coming to the rescue of Bush, who so completely allied his administration with Sharon?
Mohamed El-Sayed Said
August 6, 2004