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Publicly Available Published by De Gruyter Oldenbourg January 11, 2011

1989 und die Wege dorthin

Christoph Boyer

Vorspann

Die nicht heilbaren Konstruktionsmängel des Staatssozialismus liefern noch keine hinreichende Erklärung für „1989“. Erst angesichts der welthistorisch neuen Bedingungskonstellation, die sich ab Anfang der siebziger Jahre durch die elektronische Revolution und die Globalisierung herausbildete, erwiesen sich die Staatssozialismen in der Systemkonkurrenz als endgültig unterlegen. Ihr Todesurteil wurde bereits Anfang der siebziger Jahre gesprochen, die Wege zur Vollstreckung waren aber lang und unterschiedlich, wie der in Salzburg lehrende Zeithistoriker Christoph Boyer mit Blick auf die DDR, die Tschechoslowakei, auf Polen und Ungarn zu zeigen vermag.

Abstract

Historians tend to explain the failure of State Socialism by recounting the history of its ultimate crisis; social scientists in contrast are mostly interested in the long-term structural reasons of 1989. Both approaches are not in themselves wrong, but they are one-sided. The essay develops an interpretative framework connecting events and structure, actors and system, long-term and short-term developments, process logic and contingency. The incurable structural deficiencies of State Socialism do not offer a sufficient explanation for 1989. Only when faced with the new global historical constellation of circumstances which developed at the beginning of the 1970s with the electronic revolution and globalisation did the State Socialist countries prove to be definitely defeated in the competition of the economic systems. The death sentence was already pronounced over the State Socialist systems at the beginning of the 1970s, but the paths towards execution were long and different, as becomes clear with regard to the GDR, Czechoslovakia as well as Poland and Hungary.

Published Online: 2011-01-11
Published in Print: 2011-01-15

© by Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag, Salzburg, Germany

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