This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in this book. The book provides some conceptual clarification of the problem. Conceptual clarification is essential to the process of finding a balanced approach to countering extremism. The concept of extremism as applied to the emerging democracies needs to take into account the dangers posed by the inability to reach a takeoff point for democratization (as in Russia) and the possible loss of transformation momentum in all postcommunist societies. The book focuses on the issues of political will, that is, the willingness of both governments and populations to be vigilant and recognize the early warning signs of extremist threats to democracy and, further, to engage in a sustained effort to counter such threats. It then examines the mechanisms for dealing with extremism. These examinations involve an assessment of tendencies, institutions, legislation, and attitudes.