Between State Capitalism and Globalisation

The Collapse of the East German Economy

by Gareth Dale (Author)
Monographs 372 Pages


This book is an exploration of the economic history of the German Democratic Republic, with an emphasis upon its confrontation by and contribution towards economic and military competition on the world stage. Beginning with an analysis of the Soviet bloc as a state-capitalist formation, the GDR’s economic history is charted, with detailed examinations of the challenges to Soviet-style autarky that were posed by the globalising world market, as well as of GDR policymakers’ attempts to use Western imports and credits as a ‘whip’ to spur growth. The book’s central section consists of an exploration of the ambivalent attitudes of East German policymakers and industrialists towards their West German counterparts in the 1980s, as the whip was transformed into an ever-tightening noose of debt. Here, a prodigious range of secondary sources as well as hitherto unpublished documents from the archives of the old regime are drawn upon to document the means by which relative economic decline and dependency upon Western institutions came to constrain the options available to the East German nomenklatura. Finally, this study analyses the political economy of the 1989 revolution and unification and of post-unification Eastern Germany.


ISBN (Softcover)
Deutschland (DDR) Wirtschaftsentwicklung Geschichte German Democratic Republic (GDR) communism East Germany Soviet Bloc revolution of 1989 post-unification eastern Germany Wirtschaftspolitik Gorbachev's reforms
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2004. 372 pp., 2 fig., 7 tables

Biographical notes

Gareth Dale (Author)

The Author: Gareth Dale teaches international political economy, international relations and German politics at the University of Wales, Swansea. He has published widely on German politics and history and is joint editor, with Mike Cole, of The European Union and Migrant Labour.


Title: Between State Capitalism and Globalisation