As Libyans absorb the impact of the death of Gaddafi, Owen Bennett-Jones explores what happens next after dictators leave power.
Some, like Gaddafi and Romania's Ceausescu, are killed outright.
Some, like Serbia's Slobodan Milosevic and Liberia's Charles Taylor, end up in international courts.
Yet others, like Stalin and Mao, pass away peacefully in bed.
So how does the manner of the dictator's downfall shape their country's chances of recovery?
Owen Bennett-Jones investigates.