When a totalitarian group seizes power, one of the first institutions it creates is a secret political police. Since the birth of modern totalitarianism, in country after country, secret political police have been the predominant instruments of power, used to consolidate power, neutralize the opposition, and erect a one-party state. Yet, when these same totalitarian regimes have liberalized or collapsed, the secret political police have often managed to survive and even remain relevant.
Dismantling Tyranny: Transitioning Beyond Totalitarian Regimes provides a groundbreaking exploration of this survival tendency in seven formerly communist regimes in the former Soviet Union and Latin America - and the lessons these transformations hold for future democratic revolutions. But Dismantling Tyranny is also much more: it is a guidebook designed to empower, inform, and guide future transitions toward democracy for those political leaders with the initiative, and courage, to embark upon such a visionary path.