This is the second part of a three-part article that looks at the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe and the repercussions of those events in the Soviet Union. The first part focused on the “direct” spillover from Eastern Europe into the Soviet Union, whereas this segment examines the “indirect” spillover, which took four forms:(1) the discrediting of Marxist-Leninist ideology, (2) the heightened sense of the Soviet regime's own vulnerability, (3) the diminished potential for the use of force in the USSR to curb internal unrest, and (4) the “demonstration effect” and “contagiousness” of regime change and democratization in Eastern Europe. These factors together made it considerably more difficult for Gorbachev to prevent the Soviet Union from unraveling. The final part of the article will be published in the next issue of the journal.

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