‘The collapse of communism — and the future’ examines various theories as to what caused the sudden collapse of communism. The role of Gorbachev in the collapse of communist power in Eastern Europe is examined, as well as his introduction of perestroika and glasnost. Declining growth rates reflected deeper problems with the economies of most Communist states, such as the increasing complexity and overload of central planning and state monopolization. In addition, economic globalization, which began in the late 1980s, largely bypassed the Communist world. Citizens in Communist states were aware of this, and became ever more dissatisfied with and cynical about their system.