East Germany as a ‘Model Case’ for Transformation Theory

  • Feiwel Kupferberg


In the literature on systemic change, democratic transition and economic transformation in Eastern Europe, East Germany plays a marginal and somewhat ambiguous role. One can hardly deny that the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) seems to represent a Sonderweg to democracy, a particular case combining transformation and integration at the same time (Reissig, 1993b; 1994a). Its unification with a functioning liberal democracy is unique, clearly separating it from the other East European countries (Miller,1992; Wiesenthal, 1994). On the other hand, these unique, unrepeatable traits do not exclude the fact that there are some very interesting analytical insights to be gained from a close study of the East German experience with both communism and post-communism (Henderson, 1994), possible making the East German Sonderweg to democracy a kind of ‘model case’ for existing theories of transformation (Offe, 1994).


Liberal Democracy German Democratic Republic Career Opportunity Transformation Theory National Integration 
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Copyright information

© Feiwel Kupferberg 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Feiwel Kupferberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Aalborg UniversityDenmark

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