Society and Politics in Bavaria, 1949 -1973

Abgeschlossenes Projekt

Weitere Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeiter:  

PD Dr. Jaromír Dittmann-Balcar (ehemaliger IfZ-Mitarbeiter), Prof. Dr. Dietmar Süß (ehemaliger IfZ-Mitarbeiter)

Projektinhalt:

A new project on Society and Politics in Bavaria, 1949 – 1973, was begun at the Leibniz Institute for Contemporary History in 1996 with the support of the Bavarian Ministry for Science and the Arts. Following on from projects on the history of Bavaria during the Nazi era and the history of the American Zone of Occupation between 1945 and 1949, this project sought to explore the interdependence between politics, the economy, and society in the form of a sociopolitical history illustrated with specific assessable examples. The methodology and complexes of questions were, however, also expanded to allow for aspects relating to the history of experience, culture, and everyday life within the analytical framework of the project. The project, led by Hans Woller, centered on three complexes: the question of the political steering and steerability of socioeconomic structural change in the 1950s and 1960s; effects of these processes of change on society and on selected social groups and milieus, including the winners and losers of the “economic miracle” and the development of gender- and class-specific opportunities; and how mentalities and political attitudes developed in the face of economic and social structural change, what sorts of metamorphoses they underwent, and what was able to persist and what succumbed to this change in values.

Bavaria was chosen as the area for investigation for three reasons: the structural change took a particularly dramatic turn in the expansive rural areas of the region; the Bavarian state sought to intervene vigorously; and one can vividly demonstrate how stable and long-term regional characteristics and internal social lines of division increasingly lost their significance there in the face of this structural change – in a sort of “melting” process that could also be observed in other states and which, as in Bavaria, was tied to the hegemonialization of political systems at the hands of a single party.

While Bavaria lay at the center of the project, this does not entail the lack of a greater framework or a comparative perspective. On the contrary: Whenever possible, the perspective was widened from Bavaria, as only an historical comparison can make it possible to make determinations about the singularity or normality of the path taken by the region and to view any seemingly Bavaria-specific development within the full West German context.

Four monographs emerged from the project. In his study on Bavarian economic and structural policy, Stefan Grüner provided the political-institutional framework for the project as a whole, Thomas Schlemmer investigated this structural change using the example of Ingolstadt as a region with a booming economy, Jaromír Balcar studied eleven rural districts in his work on rural Bavarian society in the wake of the socioeconomic structural change, and Dietmar Süß researched the history of workers and the Social Democratic milieu, using the example of the traditional industrial districts of Burglengenfeld and Sulzbach-Rosenberg in the Upper Palatinate region of Bavaria.

Three edited collections were put together in cooperation with other research institutions and colleagues working on similar topics, with the aim of illuminating as many facets of social, economic, and political processes as possible, processes that not only changed Bavaria at a fundamental level. The first of these bears the title Die Erschließung des Landes [The Development of the Country] and includes articles on the push to expand infrastructure during the 1950s, 1960s, and early 1970s. The second edited collection deals with the development of selected social groups in the face of the structural change of the 1950s and 1960s. And the third volume, entitled Politik und Kultur im föderativen Staat [Politics and Culture in the Federal State], focuses on comparative studies, relating and contrasting the socioeconomic processes of change and political strategies in Bavaria with those in other federal states of West Germany.

Publications within the project

Stefan Grüner

Geplantes "Wirtschaftswunder"?

Quellen und Darstellungen zur Zeitgeschichte

München 2009


 

Thomas Schlemmer

Industriemoderne in der Provinz.

Quellen und Darstellungen zur Zeitgeschichte

München 2009


 

Jaromír Balcar

Politik auf dem Land.

Quellen und Darstellungen zur Zeitgeschichte

München 2004


 

Dietmar Süß

Kumpel und Genossen.

Quellen und Darstellungen zur Zeitgeschichte

München 2003


 

Thomas Schlemmer, Hans Woller (Hrsg.)

Die Erschließung des Landes 1949 bis 1973.

Quellen und Darstellungen zur Zeitgeschichte

München 2001


 

Thomas Schlemmer, Hans Woller (Hrsg.)

Gesellschaft im Wandel 1949 bis 1973.

Quellen und Darstellungen zur Zeitgeschichte

München 2002


 

Thomas Schlemmer, Hans Woller (Hrsg.)

Politik und Kultur im föderativen Staat 1949 bis 1973.

Quellen und Darstellungen zur Zeitgeschichte

München 2004


 



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