The Transformation of the East German Universities in the 1980s / 90s: Potsdam in Comparative Perspective
Cooperation project of the ZZF and the University of Potsdam
The transformation of the East German landscape of science following the example of the old federal states was one of the declared goals after the upheaval of 1989/90. The transformation process took place in the field of tension of internal reform efforts and external interventions, strongly dependent on the respective federal state, the type of university and the specialization. West German commissions often rate the research achievements of East German colleagues, which in many cases led to tough conflicts that are still having an effect today.
At the University of Potsdam, founded in 1991, this founding process was particularly complex, as it originated from different predecessor institutions: the College of Education "Karl Liebknecht" at the New Palace, the Academy for Administration of Law and Law in Babelsberg and the Law School Potsdam of the Ministry of State Security in Golm. All three predecessor institutions had a particularly close connection to the SED through their task of training elites of the GDR society. Controversial is the extent to which they conducted independent research.
The research project "The transformation of the East German universities in the 1980 / 90s: Potsdam in a comparative perspective" under the direction of Prof. Dr. Frank Bösch and Prof. Dr. Dominik Geppert will comprehensively investigate the transformations on the basis of three individual studies. One study is dedicated to the natural sciences, the humanities, and the legal and social sciences. In addition to the presentation of structural and staff restructuring, continuities and changes in research and teaching content are also analyzed. The central question is the extent to which the founding history of Potsdam University differs from the transformation processes of other East German universities. Further information can be found on the project Website of the University of Potsdam.
Prof. Dr. Frank Bösch
Leibniz Centre for Contemporary History Potsdam
Am Neuen Markt 1
Office: Am Neuen Markt 1, room 1.32
Email: sekretariat [at] zzf-potsdam.de