Obstacles to Modernization in the Economy and Science of the GDR (Mod-Block-DDR)

Emergence and Consequences - an inner-German comparison and a comparison to neighbouring countries in Central Eastern Europe

Information about the project

In the year 2017, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) published the call for project proposals in the field of “GDR Research” in order to support social scientific research about the “heritage of socialism” in the German university landscape and to strengthen the research structure in this field of expertise on a competitive basis.

The research consortium “Hurdles to modernisation in the economy and science in the GDR” (Mod-Block-DDR) was selected for funding as one out of 14 projects in total. The project will run empirical and comparative analyses focusing on the question in how far the hurdles to modernisation in the GDR impact the economic development and structures of East Germany until today. Four universities in Germany together with their international cooperation partners participate in the research consortium. Jutta Günther from the University of Bremen, Faculty of Business Studies and Economics, is head of the interdisciplinary research team. Young researchers are actively participating in the research and will be promoted through a PhD or postdoc career. Further, the results of the research will be disseminated broadly in the scientific community, policy, economy and general public. Especially the transfer of new knowledge about the GDR into society will be paid special attention.

The consortium started its work on December 01, 2018 and will be supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in a first stage until the year 2022. After positive evaluation, the second funding period of Mod-Block-DDR started on October 1, 2023 for two years.

In the context of the research project and in order to strengthen sustainable research structures, the Faculty of Business Studies and Economics of the University of Bremen filled a professorship position in economics with the specialisation “Institutional Change”. This newly established professorship is an additional action, financed by the University of Bremen and will work in close cooperation with the research consortium on complementary topics. It will particularly engage in research about institutional factors, which impact the economic catching-up process in transition economies until today.

Press release of the BMBF

Press release of the University of Bremen


Gefördert vom BMBF

Research consortium Mod-Block-DDR enters 2nd round

The research consortium "Obstacles to Modernization in the Economy and Science of the GDR " (Mod-Block-DDR) will continue to be funded by the BMBF with 1.2 million Euros until 2025.

New book release: Roadblocks to the Socialist Modernization Path and Transition - Evidence from East Germany and Poland

The book "Roadblocks to the Socialist Modernization Path and Transition. Evidence from East Germany and Poland" was published open access by Palgrave Macmillan. It is a result of the collaborative project Mod-Block-DDR (https://www.uni-bremen.de/en/obstacles-to-modernization-in-the-economy-and-scien…

Set der ZDF Produktion

Results of our GDR research on TV

In July 2022, Jutta Günther was interviewed for the ZDF Terra X program "Erfolgsakte Ost" in Berlin - broadcasted on October 1, 2023. Which products and technologies from the GDR were able to survive on the German and international markets after 1990? In addition to the well-known brands Kathi,…

JOE-Tagung Teilnehmer_innen

Visit of the JOE Conference (Young Experts on Eastern Europe)

On July 7, 2023, Jutta Günther attended the 30th JOE conference of the German Society for Eastern European Studies in Regensburg by invitation. After three decades of research on Eastern Europe "after the system break", the aim was to take stock: What developments in research on Eastern Europe and…

Participants of the conference

Jutta Günther at the German-Korean Consultative Body in Berlin

On May 23 and 24, 2023, Jutta Günther, a member of the Mod-Block-DDR research network, participated in the two-day conference of the German-Korean Consultative Body at the Federal Government Commissioner for the New Länder in Berlin. The meeting of the Korean and German delegations was held at the…

Autor*innen und Reviewer*innen als Gruppe vor einer Fensterfront

Socialism failed - but why and to what ends? Authors' workshop on the forthcoming anthology

Ex post it is evident: Soviet-style state socialism has failed as a political-economic system. But while it was happening, it was anything but clear. The reasons and consequences of the failure are dealt with in the new anthology by Mod-Block-DDR. It summarises the results of the first funding phase…

[Translate to English:]

Book Release: Transformation in Poland and East Germany

What were the historical conditions, processes and outcomes of the political change in Central and Eastern Europe more than 30 years ago? This question is addressed in an anthology recently published by Harrassowitz Verlag examining the post-socialist transformation processes in Poland and East…

Wolfgang Marschall und Deckblatt der Studie

Newsticker Microelectronics in the GDR

With the help of the Bremen State and University Library, we succeeded in publishing a study on microelectronics in the GDR written in 1990. It could not be published at the time during the turbulence of reunification. The book was penned by a renowned GDR scientist who, as a senior employee of the…

Gruppenfoto Konsortialtreffen Mod-Block-DDR

Annual meeting of the Mod-Block-DDR research consortium

On 26 September 2022, scientists from the Mod-Block-DDR research consortium met at the TU Berlin. The main aim of this year's summit was to synthesise the respective results of the sub-projects and to prepare the joint publication. An edited volume will bring the joint work of several years to a…

New Publication: Comprehensive Patent Data of the German Democratic Republic 1949-1990—technical report and dataset overview

Ann Hipp, Michael Fritsch, Maria Greve, Jutta Günther, Marcel Lange, Christian Liutik, Beate Pfeifer, Mariia Shkolnykova und Michael Wyrwich published a research paper entitled „Comprehensive Patent Data of the German Democratic Republic 1949-1990—technical report and dataset overview“ in the Jena…

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