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The shocking fall of communism in Eastern and Central Europe in the late eighties was remarkable for both its rapidity and its scope The specifics of communisms demise varied among nations but similarities in both the causes and the effects of these revolutionswere quite similar As well all of the nations involved shared the common goals of implementing democratic systems of government and moving to market economies In each of these nations the communist regimes in power were forced to transfer that power to radically different institutions than they were accustomed to Democracy had been spreading throughout the world for the preceding two decades but with a very important difference While previous political transitions had seen similar circumstances the actual events in question had generally occurred individually In Europe on the other hand the shift from communism was taking place in a different context altogether The peoples involved were not looking to affect a narrow set of policy reforms indeed what was at stake was a hyper-radical shift from the long-held communist ideology to a western blueprintfor governmental and economic policy development The problem inherent in this type of monumental change is that according to Ulrich K Preuss In almost all the East and Central European countries the collapse of authoritarian communist rule has releasednational ethnic religious and cultural conflicts which cannot be solved by purely economic policies 47 While tremendous changes are evident in both the governmental and economic arenas in Europe these changes cannot be assumed to always be mutually reinforcingPreuss 47 Generally it has been theorized that the most successful manner of addressing these many difficulties is the drafting of a constitution But what is clear is the unsatisfactory ability of a constitution to remedy the problems of nationalism and ethnicdifferences Preuss notes that when the constitutional state gained favor in North America it was founded on the principle of the unitary state it was not designed to address the lack of
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