Russia's political elites seem far from willing to undertake a makeover in the image of the West. Indeed, their cultural attempt at self-definition compels them to close alliances with China and other Asian countries.
The specter of secession suddenly haunts Ukraine and Thailand, two countries where demonstrators have uncompromisingly battled corrupt or unresponsive rulers. Are modern states in general strong enough to survive today's explosions of popular will?
Across Asia, the authority of older political, economic and military elites is being challenged and often overthrown. Fresh social networks and NGO-style activism are defining an alternative way of doing politics.
The election of engineer Arvind Kejriwal as the new chief minister of the urbanized Delhi region adds an Indian dimension to the worldwide phenomenon of political newcomers challenging entrenched elites.