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.

Asian Democracies: The Half-Full Glass

The ballots in Southeast Asia are unordinary, but tell the story of transition from dictatorship
Gwynne Dyer
May 10, 2004

An Empire of Denial

The US is choosing to ignore the fact that it is to blame for the stifling of global democracy
George Monbiot
June 1, 2004

Russia Backs Kyoto to Get on Path to Join WTO

A breakthrough that could revive the long-stalled pact to curb global warming
Peter Baker
May 22, 2004

Across Spectrum, Politicians Condemn U.S.

German foreign minister says administration must restore American 'moral leadership' in wake of prisoner scandal
William Pratt
May 14, 2004

State Department Rights Report Released After Delay

Friends and foes held to the same standards we hold ourselves, says U.S. deputy secretary of State
Salamander Davoudi
May 18, 2004