Actor Structures and Privatization Practice in Transformation: The Work of the Treuhandanstalt in the State of Brandenburg, 1990–1994

Employees (IfZ):   Wolf-Rüdiger Knoll

With the creation of a “trust agency for the administration of public property”, the Treuhandanstalt began its work over half a year before reunification and the formation of the new state governments in the East. The first processes of transformation of the East German economy thus generally came about without the participation of political actors at the state level. This dissertation project is based on the working hypothesis that the privatization of the state-run economy was accompanied by a dense network of exchange and opinion-forming structures between the Treuhandanstalt and the incipient Brandenburg state government. The project centers on the investigation of the political field of power in one particular state – among the various individual actors at the state and local levels, but also the federal and European levels. The project focuses in particular on the privatization of the steel and lignite-mining industries due to their great significance to the industrial sites of Brandenburg. The activities of the Treuhandanstalt at the local level is also to be investigated here. The project will, moreover, look more closely into the activities at the Potsdam, Cottbus, and Frankfurt/Oder sites, as they accounted for around two thirds of all companies (and small and medium-sized companies in particular).

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