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Legitimation, Repression und Kooptation in der DDR

[journal article]

Grashoff, Udo

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Abstract "The communist party in the German Democratic Republic claimed governmental legitimacy for being the builder of an antifascist state on the way to communism. The simulation of parliamentarism also played a role and, for a short period of time in the 1960s, the cooptation of technocrats as well. In the 1970s and 1980s the most important part of legitimacy was derived from the welfare policy under Erich Honecker. At no time was the political system stable without a considerable amount of repression. In the Soviet Occupation Zone and the early GDR repression was characterized by Stalinist terror: internment camps, military courts, and harsh punishment. Rigorous repression in 1952/53 and 1960/61 was connected to the attempts to accelerate the socialist revolution (normative legitimacy ). From 1949 to 1989 a gradual mitigation of repression took place, but not steadily. Relaxation in the watersheds such as in 1956, 1963, and 1971 came to a halt in 1960, 1965, and 1976 ff. Nevertheless, more lenient times of repression brought irreversible mitigations. Especially in the 1970s and 1980s open terror was replaced by less visible forms of repression. Cooptation of non - communists played a marginal role in the history of the GDR. In the early phase it was nothing but a phase - out model. Later on cooptation was by and large a recruitment process under the control of the SED, which generated a rather homogenous elite selected by its fidelity to the socialist state." (author's abstract)
Keywords German Democratic Republic (GDR); political system; political regime; legitimation; repression; comparative research; Socialist Unity Party of Germany (GDR); domination; multi-party system; anti-facism; economic policy; social policy; historical development; post-war period; elite; party; political change
Classification General History; Political System, Constitution, Government; Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture
Method historical
Document language German
Publication Year 2012
Page/Pages p. 123-146
Journal Totalitarismus und Demokratie, 9 (2012) 1
Issue topic Ideokratien im Vergleich : Legitimation, Kooptation, Repression / Ideocracies in comparison : legitimation, cooptation, repression
ISSN 1612-9008
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications