Democracy and autocracy are core concepts of political science. They are however contested concepts. Therefore it is important to attain an understanding of basic theories regarding those regimes. Moreover, in the last decades regime change came into the forefront of democracy studies analyzing why and how democratic regimes emerge from autocratic regimes or why and how democractic regression or democratic breakdown take place. Finally, the evidence of the last decades indicates that there is a need of differentiation of such ‚root concepts‘ like democracy and autocracy in subtypes reflecting deficient forms of democracies or moderate forms of autocracy. Especially, since 1990 we observe diverse paths of democratization and autocratization, progress and regression of the worldwide development of democracy and we find a considerable variety of democratic or autocratic subtypes. This course addresses these developments.