After the Wall: Eastern Germany since 1989

After the Wall: Eastern Germany since 1989

After the Wall: Eastern Germany since 1989

After the Wall: Eastern Germany since 1989

Synopsis

Focusing on the situation in eastern Germany almost eight years after unification, specialists from Germany, Great Britain and the US assess the institutional, social and cultural changes that have occurred and speculate on prospects for the future.

Excerpt

As part of the series on Eastern Europe after Communism, the objective of this book is to assess the political, economic, and social transitions that have occurred throughout the 1990s in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR), or East Germany. After the revolution of 1989 and the fall of the Berlin wall, the East German experience diverged dramatically from the transitions elsewhere in Eastern Europe. German unification, the historic merger of the gdr with the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), or West Germany, resulted in an extremely rapid transition. Rather than gradually determining how to move from a centrally planned economy toward a market economy and from a communist to a democratic political system, East Germans opted for unification and ready-made economic and political systems. These monumental changes took place less than a year after the November 1989 revolution, with economic and monetary union occurring 1 July 1990 and political unification 3 October 1990. This book considers the impact of these changes on the former gdr and on East Germans.

Planning for the book began in late fall 1995 when experts on various aspects of Germany and/or Eastern Europe were invited to contribute chapters focusing specifically on the former German Democratic Republic. the volume brings together American and British scholars, most of whom have studied East Germany throughout their careers, and scholars from the former gdr with specialties in the fields of women's studies, religion, literature, and economics and politics. the varied backgrounds of the authors bring diverse perspectives to the volume; nevertheless, common themes emerge throughout the chapters. With its focus on East Germany rather than more broadly on all of Germany after unification, this book makes a unique contribution to the literature on post-communist transitions.

I am especially grateful to the chapter authors for their contributions and cooperation. the professionalism of all is evident in the . . .

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