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.

After the Train Bombs, a Political Bombshell

Spanish ruling party loses amid increasing signs that it may have been al-Qaeda that bombed Madrid's trains last week
March 15, 2004

A Normal Country

Russia is doing just fine compared to other middle income countries
Andrei Shleifer
March 30, 2004

Australia's Greedy Oil Deals in East Timor

The world's newest country is fast learning that self interest drives international relations
April 1, 2004

Arab World Risks Missing its Development Goals

Conference considers regional strategy to put Arab countries back on development path
Majdoline Hatoum
April 2, 2004

American Troops Are Killing and Abusing Afghans, Rights Body Says

International watchdog worries that the US is hurting its own war on terrorism
Brian Whitaker
March 8, 2004