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

"30 Years since the Fall of the Berlin Wall" - Mod-Block-DDR Project Coordinator Anna Schwarz in Public Panel Discussion (20.11.2019)

On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and in view of current attempts to politically take over the "Wende", the panel discussion at the Viadrina Center "B/ORDERS IN MOTION" reminds us of the future drafts of that time and balances the consequences of the opening of…

[Translate to English:]

Jutta Günther at the hearing of the Expert Commission on Research and Innovation about the East German innovation system

On 9 October 2019, in preparation for its next annual report (2020), the Expert Commission on Research and Innovation conducted a hearing of experts on the East German innovation system and the technological performance of the New Länder 30 years after German re-unification. The hearing also focused…

International ICSID workshop: “Quality of Governance and the Legacy of Socialism”

On October 25-26, 2019 the international ICSID workshop about “Quality of Governance and the Legacy of Socialism” jointly organised by the University of Bremen and Higher School of Economics Moscow (HSE) will take place in Bremen for the first time.

The working groups of Michael Rochlitz and Jutta…

Participants of the Research Consortium Conference in Berlin - Group Photo

New Perspective(s) on the GDR - Different Ways into "Modernity" and Multiple Reference Systems?

The second consortium meeting of "Mod-Block-DDR" took place on 16 September 2019 at the TU Berlin. On the agenda were the presentation of the current projects, the organisation of two conferences in the jubilee year 2020 and the discussion of a new perspective on the development in the GDR and the…

[Translate to English:]

Visiting Ksenia Gonchar from the Higher School of Economics in Moscow

From 16 to 29 September 2019, Ksenia Gonchar from the Higher School of Economics visits the University of Bremen. Ksenia Gonchar is a leading researcher at the Institute for Institute for Industrial and Market Studies (IIMS) at HSE and has been working with Jutta Günther and her team for many years.…

[Translate to English:]

"Mod-Block-DDR" team members joined BIGSSS

Three members of the BMBF's research consortium will work on their doctorates in close connection with the Bremen International Graduate School for Social Sciences (BIGSSS). Jarina Kühn, Mareike zum Felde and Charlotta Cordes started the program this week together with the other newly affiliated…

Der Wirtschaftswissenschaftler Michael Rochlitz hält einen Vortrag.

Michael Rochlitz in an interview on the regional elections in Russia

In WDR 5 Morgenecho, Michael Rochlitz answers questions about the regional elections in Russia. According to Russia expert and institutional economist Michael Rochlitz, the rejection of the admission of opposition candidates by the election commission, which led to mass demonstrations, impedes the…

The participants of the Summer School next to the cottage house in Orilampi (Finnland)

Presentation of "Mod-Block-DDR" at the 4th International Summer School of the FRRESH Network

From 26 to 30 August 2019 Heiko Pleines, Mareike zum Felde and Charlotta Cordes participated in the Summer School of the Network for Russian and Eurasian Studies in Orilampi (Finland). This year's topic was the radical changes since the beginning of the 1990s in the former socialist states.

Michael Rochlitz grinst in die Kamera

Interview with Michael Rochlitz and Gabor Steingart

"20 years Putin: Why China trumps Russia" is the title of the interview in which Gabor Steingart asks Bremen economist Michael Rochlitz questions about the economic conflict between Russia and China.

[Translate to English:]

PhD course “Innovation in Transition Economies” – Summer School Teaching by Jutta Günther

From July 21st to August 2nd 2019, the 13th Summer School on “The Economics of Innovative Change” takes place at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany. The Summer School is organized annually by the Chair of Microeconomics of the Faculty of Business Administration and Economics.

Logo der Universität Bremen
Logo der Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
Logo der Europa Universität Viadrina
Logo der technischen Universität Berlin