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Political and economic elites in the transformation process in eastern Germany

  • Hanjo Gergs
  • Christopher Hausmann
  • Markus Pohlmann

Abstract

In east Germany socialist society was the descendant of capitalist society. Despite the marked political differences, the FRG and the GDR, in particular, had similar profiles as relatively successful industrial societies. However, the transformation developed into a nonetheless Herculean task, mainly rooted in the restructuring of polity and the economy. This is clearly where the speed and the success of transformation and unification are determined. It was not so much the institutionalised structures that were open to variation — imitation of Federal German institutions was the preferred path — as the personnel of the political and economic systems. Here, at the actor level, the duplicated structures had to and still have to ‘learn the ropes’, and here, too, the success or failure of institutionalisation is decided. Who is occupying the key economic and political positions in eastern Germany? This is one of the most interesting questions concerning the transformation process. It plays a role in determining whether the copy will be better or worse than the original. The following discussion is concerned with this question and the first answers provided to date by researchers.

Keywords

Political Elite Service Class Economic Elite Executive Position German Manager 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hanjo Gergs
  • Christopher Hausmann
  • Markus Pohlmann

There are no affiliations available

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