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The essays in this collection reflect on the promises, hopes and fears dominant in the narratives on and realities of doing away with authoritarian regimes. The experiences of post-communist transition are matched with accounts on authoritarian traits present in established constitutional democracies and on authoritarian inclusions preserved in the new regimes in the post-transition phase. The essays combine first-hand insider accounts with interdisciplinary scholarly analysis. The first part of the collection focuses on considerations marking the way out of authoritarian - not restricted to socialist - regimes. The second part centres around experiences and problems which surface following the days of totalitarianism, both in newly emerged democracies and in well-established constitutional systems. Issues covered range from police practices to the role of the ""people"" in post-authoritarian regimes. The dilemma transparent in all essays is whether ""coming out"" of authoritarianism is possible at all.