Stasi Culture—Authority, Networks, and Discourses

Andreas Glaeser

in Political Epistemics

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780226297934
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226297958 | DOI:
Stasi Culture—Authority, Networks, and Discourses

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This chapter provides an understanding of how particular understandings become stabilized, are maintained, and decay among a particular set of people. It investigates the structure and dynamics of the authority networks in which these people operate. It explores the principles according to which officers in socialist East Germany learned to ascribe authority over their political understandings to others and describes how the structure of their networks of authority was influenced by the organizational cultures and structures of Stasi. The open border between both parts of Germany, together with West Germany's refusal to recognize an independent GDR citizenship, implies that those people who felt socialism to be insufferable could leave the country without many of the more traumatic consequences that refugee status usually entails. Furthermore, this chapter analyzes the discursive cultures that characterize these networks because the very precondition for understandings to be recognized is that they are allowed to emerge and develop in interaction.

Keywords: political understanding; Stasi culture; officers; authority; socialism

Chapter.  20000 words. 

Subjects: Social Theory

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