As imbalances of power, wealth and productivity become magnified in our age, ethnic and religious loyalties as well as notions of honor and dignity have become more seductive than iPhones and elections. Just ask the despots who've lost the monopoly of force in Syria ...
As Democratic experiments in Thailand and Egypt collapse, there seems to be a building consensus among financial and political elites globally that authoritarian rule, rather than pluralism, is the path to happy endings.
A great rage and discontent is blowing across India's landscape of thwarted modernization. Whoever rides this angry tiger into the country's highest office following the current election will have to pacify it quickly.
The hundred think tanks that bloomed, and the thousands of mediocre academics and pseudo-experts who found easy employment in the universities and the media, feel obliged to make themselves relevant and important again after Russian President Vladimir Putin's land grab. Don't let them reboot ...
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.