How and why have authoritarian regimes been able to dismantle democratic rule? This course showcases four historical case studies from Europe (the Roman Republic, Revolutionary France, Weimar Germany, and post-Soviet Russia). In each case, a (more or less) democratic state was replaced by a (more or less) authoritarian regime. What features of each democracy made it vulnerable to this fate? What strategies and political claims helped each authoritarian regime to gain popular support? How did economies, cultures, and global events affect outcomes in each case? Each of these histories resonates with current events in Europe and globally.