What spells the doom of dictators? Nobody really knows, and there are so many “whats” that the whole subject defies quantification. Coups and assassinations, revolutions, defeats in war, and even sudden collapses, are all to be found in the texts, ancient and modern. Even those of us who have predicted the fall of tyrannies, as I did in the case of the Soviet Empire, are surprised when it happens, and almost always fail to foresee how it happens.
Indeed, it’s the wrong question. Since there are so many variations, and since one tyrant may survive a crisis that would bring down another dictator, we should ask specific questions about specific tyrants, and use historical examples of similar situations to guide our understanding.