Political-Cultural Aspects of the System Transformation

  • Willy Koch
  • Uwe Matthes


In this chapter we will try to answer the following question: how did the political culture affect the system transformation in the GDR? In the first part we will briefly survey the events of 1989. In the second part we will examine whether, and to what extent, the region of Saxony has played a special role during these events. Because political culture is always that of certain subjects, we will try to identify the protagonists of the transformation process and the somewhat diversified political cultures to which they belonged in the third part. Finally, we will come to some concluding remarks with regard to our initial question.


System Transformation Political Culture State Security Liberal Democratic Party Party Member 
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  1. 1.
    Projects dealing with the role of Saxony and/or Leipzig during the change include: the work of a project group at the theological faculty of the Leipzig University (Dr Pollack); on our initiative and with our assistance a department of political sociology analyse photos taken at Monday Marches in Leipzig (J. Straube); the press reports about the Monday Marches (T. Kell); the communication and intervention strategies of a district leadership of the SED and of the SED leadership in Leipzig (R. Kunert, U. Matthes and J. Sauermann); and an inquiry into the structure of the SPD, CDU and PDS parties in Leipzig (W. Koch).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    When the GDR collapsed, tensions which existed within the leading elite came to light. The question is, therefore, how far the SED leaders’ inability to act could also be interpreted as the result of mutually paralysing political strategies. In this case a fourth trend would have existed: that of the formation and activities of counter-elites within the power centre of the GDR.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Dirk Berg-Schlosser and Ralf Rytlewski 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Willy Koch
  • Uwe Matthes

There are no affiliations available

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