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Publication - Dr Mark Allinson

    More from Less: Ideological Gambling with the Unity of Economic and Social Policy in Honecker's GDR

    Citation

    Allinson, M, 2012, ‘More from Less: Ideological Gambling with the Unity of Economic and Social Policy in Honecker's GDR’. Central European History, vol 45., pp. 102 - 127

    Abstract

    In the numerous analyses of the economic failings of the German Democratic Republic, considerable attention and blame have attached to the extensive social policy program of Erich Honecker, leader of the ruling Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) after 1971. The “unity of economic and social policy” encompassed the GDR's entire political economy under Honecker. It was an attempt—a last-ditch attempt, as it transpired—to incentivize higher production, but also to fulfill the party's promise of higher living standards. In sum, the intention was to secure both the GDR's long-term economic viability and popular support via (modest) consumerism and an extensive program of social welfare measures. In so doing, the SED would prove the economic, social, and political theories that underpinned the whole ideology of “real existing socialism.”

    Full details in the University publications repository