A “ready-made State”<sup>1</sup> :The Mode of Institutional Transition in East Germany After 1989

Edited by Anne Goedicke

in After the Fall of the Wall

Published by Stanford University Press

Published in print September 2006 | ISBN: 9780804752084
Published online June 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780804779456 | DOI:
A “ready-made State”1 :The Mode of Institutional Transition in East Germany After 1989

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This chapter presents a condensed history of the political and institutional aspects of East German transformation. Four characteristics make the East German transition path unique in comparison with other cases of post-socialist transitions. First, by push from the West and pull from the former GDR, Germany was quickly united with the Federal Republic of Germany and, with many consequences, by accession rather than merger. Second, by pressure of time and conscious political intent, almost all West German institutions were introduced into or, as many Easterners saw it, imposed on, the former GDR. Third, East Germany was the first socialist country to be exposed to the shock therapy of a very rapid and extensive process of privatization. Fourth, the introduction of private ownership and free markets was complemented by the massive transfer of financial supports from West to the East in the form of direct subsidies and shared social-insurance funds.

Keywords: East German transformation; post-socialist transitions; Germany; privatization; social-insurance funds

Chapter.  7797 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility

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