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The Downfall of Communism in Eastern and Central Europe The shocking fall of communism in Eastern and Central Europein the late eighties was remarkable for both its rapidity and itsscope The specifics of communisms demise varied among nationsbut similarities in both the causes and the effects of these revolutions were quite similar As well all of the nationsinvolved shared the common goals of implementing democraticsystems of government and moving to market economies In each ofthese nations the communist regimes in power were forced totransfer that power to radically different institutions than theywere accustomed to Democracy had been spreading throughout theworld for the preceding two decades but with a very importantdifference While previous political transitions had seensimilar circumstances the actual events in question hadgenerally occurred individually In Europe on the other handthe shift from communism was taking place in a different contextaltogether The peoples involved were not looking to affect anarrow set of policy reforms indeed what was at stake was ahyper-radical shift from the long-held communist ideology to awestern blueprint for governmental and economic policydevelopment The problem inherent in this type of monumentalchange is that according to Ulrich K Preuss In almost all theEast and Central European countries the collapse ofauthoritarian communist rule has released national ethnic religious and cultural conflicts which can not be solved bypurely economic policies 47 While tremendous changes areevident in both the governmental and economic arenas in Europethese changes cannot be assumed to always be mutuallyreinforcing Preuss 47 Generally it has been theorized thatthe most successful manner of addressing these many difficultiesis the drafting of a constitution But what is clear is theunsatisfactory ability of a constitution to remedy the problemsof nationalism and ethnic differences Preuss notes that whenthe constitutional state gained favor in North Americait was founded on the principle of the unitary state it was notdesigned to address the lack of national identity which is foundthroughout Europe - and which is counter to the concept of theconstitutional state
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