The book investigates the effect of multi-party elections on authoritarian regime stability. The introductory chapter explores the spread of elections across authoritarian regimes since 1945. It shows that multi-party elections have spread since the end of the Cold War, and by 2008, 63% of all autocracies had recently held a multi-party election. Electoral authoritarian regimes have existed in all regions apart from Western Europe, and multi-party elections are held in party regimes, military regimes, personalist dictatorships, and even monarchies. Despite the prevalence of authoritarian multi-party elections, we know very little about the circumstances under which they may circumvent authoritarian rule.