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.

Putin's Russia: Too Weak to Stop Ukraine Joining Europe, But Will Try

Russia struggles to win over citizens in former Soviet republics
Charles Crawford
December 2, 2013

A Dangerous Interregnum

A power shift is underway and cannot be avoided
Roger Cohen
November 29, 2013

Karzai Has More Demands for Accord Extending US Troop Presence

Accord must be signed by end of year, or the US will prepare to walk away
Tim Craig, Karen DeYoung
November 28, 2013

Swiss Voters Reject High-Pay Initiative

But exorbitant salaries and exit plans are under radar
Neil MacLucas
November 26, 2013

China Increases Aid to Philippines

A torrent of criticism leads to increase in aid more than tenfold
Barbara Demick
November 19, 2013