Regime changes, like other political events, take place in time, and often a particular date symbolizes such a historical turning point. If it were possible for political scientists to develop models of regime change that included a time dimension, a model of stages or phases, of the advantages or costs of delaying or accelerating particular steps, perhaps political processes might become more predictable and thereby subject to control. The processes of change from an authoritarian regime to democracy provide some examples of the importance of finding the right pace. In the analysis of political regimes, attention has naturally focused on those that claim and achieve a certain degree of stability, as measured by their capacity to adapt to changing conditions. Time seems to work for the final institutionalization of the regime when in fact it is working against it.