Search Results

You are looking at 61 - 70 of 224 items for :

  • "unification" x
  • All content x
Clear All
Free access

This theme issue of German Politics and Society, “Eastern Germany

Ten Years After Unification,” presents five key papers first presented

at a conference organized by Thomas Ertman at the Center for European

Studies at Harvard University in June 1999. We are pleased to

present this reworked collection of articles that, under Ertman’s able

direction, speaks to the central concerns of the former East Germany’s

integration into the new Federal Republic. Ertman’s introduction

contextualizes these articles in terms of their thematic content and

methodological approaches.

Restricted access

Geneviève Giroux

This article analyzes references to history and, a fortiori, to memory in official French discourse during and after German unification. It shows that the understanding of the past complies, in every sense of the word, with France's European policy. Entirely oriented towards the promotion and justification of the European future, official memory distorts some historical facts in order to exorcise the present of a cumbersome past. Because it serves as a means of deferring to the national interest rather than as an end in itself, this representation of the past shows the limits of the official memory.

Restricted access

Eva Kolinsky

In the political and economic history of Germany, Leipzig already

held a special place long before unification. Since the middle ages, it

has hosted one of the most important trade fairs in Europe. When

industrialization turned Germany in the late nineteenth century into

a leading European power, outpacing France and closely rivaling

Britain, Leipzig added to its established and internationally acclaimed

fur and book trade a mighty industrial sector in lignite-based chemicals

and vehicle production. At the turn of the century, Leipzig was

one of the largest and most affluent cities of Germany and indeed

Europe. A rich stock of Gründerzeit houses remains to testify to this

illustrious past.

Restricted access

Rosanna Dematté

From June 17 to August 21, 2011 the University of Innsbruck (Austria) hosted the group exhibition “L’Italia alla finestra: Außen- und Innensichen” (Italy at window: Outside and outside views), commemorating the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy. The bilingual title focuses on the necessity to consider a country from several perspectives. Seven artists from Italy and Austria, belonging to different generations, were invited to the baroque cellars of the Imperial Palace of Innsbruck to give their perspective and present their work.

Restricted access

Katharina Gerstenberger

Between the end of the Cold War in 1989 and the sixtieth anniversary of the end of World War II more than fifteen years later, Germany witnessed not only a proliferation of events and experiences to be remembered but also of traditions of memory. Before the fall of the wall, remembrance of the past in West Germany meant, above all, commemoration of the Nazi past and the memory of the Holocaust. Germany's unification had a significant impact on cultural memory not only because the fall of the wall itself was an event of memorable significance but also because it gave new impulses to debates about the politics of memory.

Restricted access

Hartmut Häußermann

Since unification, the political, economic, and institutional structures

in the new federal states have been patterned in accordance with the

West German model. This is due in part to the extension of the

Western legal framework to the eastern Länder. The fact that the

political and economic actors of the once-socialist country are now

subject to the institutional conditions of the West encourages convergence

towards the western model. But questions have been raised as

to whether the cities in the new federal states are also adapting

rapidly to the western model of urban development. Their layout

and architecture resulted, after all, from the investment decisions

made by several generations and cannot be shifted or transformed as

rapidly as legal or institutional frameworks.

Free access

Joanne Sayner, Isabelle Hertner, and Sarah Colvin

Anniversaries provide moments for taking stock. In the wake of the so-called Supergedenkjahr of 2014—the year of numerous significant commemorative events for Germany, including the fall of the Berlin Wall and of German unification—it seems particularly timely to engage with debates about what it means to be German. Such retrospection is now an established and widespread part of the German habitus, and the number of organized moments of contemplation—moments that say as much about the present as the past—has multiplied since unification. Within Germany and beyond, the question of what it means to be German is frequently being asked by those who want to define local, national and international agendas for the future and to redefine agendas of the past. Representing an individual, a community or a nation involves the construction of narratives and identities, a process now often informed by sophisticated understandings of image and audience, of beliefs and branding. In fact, the numerous facets that make up an image of “Germany” have, for the most part, been perceived affirmatively; in recent international polls Germany has been the country seen as most likely to have an overwhelmingly positive influence on the world.

Restricted access

Italy and the United States

The Politics and Poetics of 'The Southern Problem'

Michael Kreyling

Both nations were ‘made’ in the 1860s. One was proclaimed on March 17, 1861; the other began a doomed civil war for its autonomy on April 12, 1861. The architect of Italian unification, Count Camillo Cavour, did not live to see the national reality; he died a few months after the proclamation. Abraham Lincoln died before national unity was reclaimed. As a policy of unification, the victorious North dissolved monasteries without anticipating negative effects on employment and social services for the poor. The victorious North dissolved the slave labour system in the defeated states without adequately anticipating the effect on employment and social services for the poor and black. In the southern regions of Italy the primary organisation for agricultural land use was a large holding, usually owned by one family, and rented to peasants: latifundia. In the southern regions of the United States the primary organization for agricultural land use was a large holding, usually owned by one family, and worked by slave labour: plantations. Southerners in the new Italy tended to view their civilisation as separate from the new nation, ‘an ancient and glorious nation in its own right’.1 Southerners in the US tended to view their civilisation as separate within the nation as a whole, ‘ancient’ by New World standards, and ‘glorious’ by virtue of its traditions.

Restricted access

Stephen J. Silvia

Since German unification, assessments of the German economy have swung from “sick man of the euro” in the early years to dominant hegemon of late. I argue that the German economy appears strong because of its recent positive performance in two politically salient areas: unemployment and the current account. A deeper assessment reveals, however, that German economic performance cannot be considered a second economic miracle, but is at best a mini miracle. The reduction in unemployment is an important achievement. That said, it was not the product of faster growth, but of sharing the same volume of work among more individuals. Germany’s current account surpluses are as much the result of weak domestic demand as of export prowess. Germany has also logged middling performances in recent years regarding growth, investment, productivity, and compensation. The article also reviews seven challenges Germany has faced since unification: financial transfers from west to east, the global financial crisis, the euro crisis, internal and external migration, demographics, climate change, and upheavals in the automobile industry. German policy-makers managed the first four challenges largely successfully. The latter three will be more difficult to tackle in the future.

Restricted access

Irmline Veit-Brause

The formation of a national elite in Germany during the period before and after political unification, 1871, is still a largely unexplored topic in German social history. The Prussocentric perspective in German historiography, which is still prevailing in much of the work done by the so-called critical history of the 1960s and 1970s, has tended to give scant consideration to the sociocultural diversity underlying and enshrined in the federal structure of the Empire. The process of national consolidation of Imperial society could profitably be studied along the center-periphery continuum of national integration. It would be interesting, in particular, to subject to closer scrutiny the notion of “preindustrial elites,” which held on to the reigns of power in Prussia-Germany at a time of such rapid social and economic change.