The sudden wave of democratization which erupted in Eastern Europe in 1989-90 provides a formidable challenge to political scientists trying to explore the causes and patterns of democratization. They were not able to predict or even anticipate the collapse of socialist systems in Eastern Europe and the consequent democratization. Samuel Huntington had concluded in 1984, in an article on whether more countries would become democratic, that there was less likelihood of this occurring in Eastern Europe than elsewhere in the world (Huntington 1984). However, political scientists were by no means alone in their failure to foresee the momentous events in Eastern Europe; and, it must be remembered, even the best of comparative research is more in the business of analysing and interpreting rather than predicting developments in different countries. The problem of predicting democratization is explored in detail in the third of our chapters, by Vanhanen and Kimber.