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Transformation in Poland and East Germany. Barriers to modernisation in science and the economy in the GDR

Origins and consequences in comparison with West Germany and with neighbouring East Central European countries

Mod-Block_DDRx190 ©Carolina Guarnizo Caro

Project description

This project fills existing gaps in research on the origins and still lasting consequences of efforts at modernisation in East Germany and the barriers that they faced. It includes comparisons with West Germany and with other countries of East Central Europe. For the first time, modernisation processes in business and science, as well as their outcomes and consequences, will be comprehensively analysed using historical, sociological, economic and political science methods. These processes will be compared with equivalents in West Germany, but also in Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Ukraine. The aim here is to expand the perspective of the analysis beyond the German–German framework, in order to gain new insights.

In sections of the project, a range of methods will be used to analyse the real manifestations of the barriers to and achievements of modernisation. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the study, it will focus not only on the macro level, but also on the system-dependent strategies of actors at the micro level of science and the economy. It was they who came to the forefront as a result of the systemic transformation, when the need was to develop efficient and innovative enterprise based on actors who had been subject to restrictions.

Interim results

Project duration

1 December 2018 to 31 March 2023

Participating scholars at European University Viadrina
Prof. Dagmara Jajeśniak-QuastDr Anna M. SteinkampDr Falk FladeKonrad Walerski, and emeritus professors Anna Schwarz and Hans-Jürgen Wagener

University of Bremen, Technical University of Berlin, Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder)

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