1949/1989: Path dependence of East German economic, demographic, and spatial development following German division & reunification (Working Title)

DellenbaughVerfasserin: Mary H. Dellenbaugh, BSc, MLA

Betreuerin: Prof. Dr. Dagmar Haase, Geographisches Institut, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

The purpose of this project was to develop an explanatory model for the various rapid, sudden and multi-level changes in East Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall and Germany’s reunification, including demographic shrinkage and volatile real estate markets, but also persistent disparities between East and West Germany despite various political instruments and state and private investment strategies. The author has employed the grounded theory method of Glaser and Strauss to tackle these very complicated topics. After exhaustive interdisciplinary research, the concepts of path dependence, systems analysis, and (post-)colonialism have established themselves as the most appropriate approaches to an explanatory framework. This work highlights in particular the division of Germany after World War 2 and the German Democratic Republic’s accession to the Federal Republic of Germany in 1990 as critical junctures in the development of the cultural landscape.