Bloc de l'equip docent de l'assignatura HISTÒRIA POLÍTICA I SOCIAL CONTEMPORÀNIA, Facultat de Comunicació Blanquerna, Universitat Ramon Llull

dimecres, 20 de juliol de 2011

Guns and Butter? Regime Competition and the Welfare State during the Cold War

Research Article


VOL 63-02 (2011)

Guns and Butter? Regime Competition and the Welfare State during the Cold War

Herbert Obingera1 and Carina Schmitta2*

a1 University of Bremen's Center for Social Policy Research, Email:

a2 University of Bremen, Email:


Scholars from a number of disciplines have argued that the massive expansion of the welfare state in the postwar period was at least in some part a byproduct of the cold war and the associated political competition between two rival regime blocs. However, the question of whether regime competition fuelled welfare-state growth has never been subject to systematic examination. Applying spatial econometrics, this article offers the first empirical test of this argument. The authors' findings support the notion that regime competition stimulated the expansion of the welfare state on both sides of the Iron Curtain in the postwar period

Herbert Obinger is a professor of comparative public and social policy at the University of Bremen's Center for Social Policy Research. He is coeditor of the Oxford Handbook of the Welfare State (2010) and coauthor ofTransformations of the Welfare State: Small States, Big Lessons (2010).

Carina Schmitt is research fellow in political science at the Collaborative Research Center Transformations of the State (TranState) at the University of Bremen. Her current research focuses on comparative public policy and quantitative comparative methods. Schmitt has published on civic engagement in Latin America and on convergence of oecd welfare states.

dilluns, 18 de juliol de 2011

COMRADES, episodi 1


A part de ser un document d’excepció, aquest llibre és també una història amb tots els ingredients d’una novel·la d’espies. L’única diferència és que, en aquest cas, tot és verídic.

En deien l’«home sense cara», una figura envoltada de tant de secret que van haver de passar gairebé vint anys abans que l’espionatge de l’oest no es fes una idea de quin aspecte tenia.

Enviava agents que es feien passar per refugiats a l’altra banda de la frontera de la República Democràtica Alemanya i els hi tenia esperant en silenci, «adormits», mentre prosperaven dins dels estaments de govern de la República Federal d’Alemanya i de l’OTAN.

Va aconseguir infiltrar-se fins a tal punt en el govern federal que Günter Guillaume, un dels seus agents, va arribar a col·laborar personalment amb Willy Brandt. Enviava espies per seduir dones que tenien accés a secrets. Va ser l’adversari més perillós per a l’oest en la guerra secreta per la informació. És Markus Wolf, el millor mestre d’espies d’aquest segle i una llegenda misteriosa de la Guerra Freda.

*extret del bloc de P. CARDÚS

DISSOLUTION de Charles S. Maier

ISBN: 0-691-00746-2ISBN13: 978-0-691-00746-5Author: Charles S. Maier


The Crisis of Communism and the End of East Germany

Against the backdrop of one of the great transformations of our century, the sudden and unexpected fall of communism as a ruling system, Charles Maier recounts the history and demise of East Germany. Dissolution is his poignant, analytically provocative account of the decline and fall of the late German Democratic Republic.

This book explains the powerful causes for the disintegration of German communism as it constructs the complex history of the GDR. Maier looks at the turning points in East Germany's forty-year history and at the mix of coercion and consent by which the regime functioned. He analyzes the GDR as it evolved from the purges of the 1950s to the peace movements and emerging youth culture of the 1980s, and then turns his attention to charges of Stasi collaboration that surfaced after 1989. In the context of describing the larger collapse of communism, Maier analyzes German elements that had counterparts throughout the Soviet bloc, including its systemic and eventually terminal economic crisis, corruption and privilege in the SED, the influence of the Stasi and the plight of intellectuals and writers, and the slow loss of confidence on the part of the ruling elite. He then discusses the mass protests and proliferation of dissident groups in 1989, the collapse of the ruling party, and the troubled aftermath of unification.

Dissolution is the first book that spans the communist collapse and the ensuing process of unification, and that draws on newly available archival documents from the last phases of the GDR, including Stasi reports, transcripts of Politburo and Central Committee debates, and papers from the Economic Planning Commission, the Council of Ministers, and the office files of key party officials. This book is further bolstered by Maier's extensive knowledge of European history and the Cold War, his personal observations and conversations with East Germans during the country's dramatic transition, and memoirs and other eyewitness accounts published during the four-decade history of the GDR.

About the Author

Charles S. Maier, born Feb. 23, 1939, in New York City, received his A.B. degree summa cum laude from Harvard University in June 1960, studied on a Henry Fellowship at St. Antony’s College, Oxford, and completed his Ph.D. in history at Harvard in December 1966. He taught history and social studies at Harvard from February 1967 until 1975, then became visiting professor of history at the University of Bielefeld in spring l976, associate professor and professor of history at Duke University, 1976-81; and since l981 he has been in turn professor of history, Krupp Foundation Professor of European Studies, and Leverett Saltonstall Professor of History at Harvard University.

He served as chair of the Committee on Degrees in Social Studies from 1993 to 1997 and as Director of the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, 1994-2001, and again in autumn 2006, and served as an interim chair of the Committee on Degrees in Social Studies during 2007-2008.

Outside the university he served as member 1999-2004 and chair (2000-2003) of the Selection Committee for the Berlin Prize Fellowships, American Academy in Berlin; he has served as a member and then as chair of the jury for selecting Rome Prize fellows in modern Italian studies at the American Academy in Rome in 2008 and 2009. He also served as a member of the German American Academic Council (DAAK/GAAC), 1998-2000; as chair of the U.S. Committee for the Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies of the Social Science Research Council, 1992-1997; and as member (1977-85) and chair (1978-81) of the Joint Committee on Western Europe of the Social Science Research Council and the American Council of Learned Societies.

Maier has held an Alexander von Humboldt Research Prize, 2002-03, a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, 1984-85, and a National Endowment of the Humanities fellowship in 1977-78. He was was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1991, and awarded the Commander’s Cross of the German Federal Republic (Grosse Bundesverdienstkreuz) in 1999. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

His books include Among Empires: American Ascendancy and its Predecessors (Harvard University Press, 2006); Dissolution: The Crisis of Communism and the End of East Germany (Princeton University Press; 1997) translated into German and Italian; The Unmasterable Past: History, Holocaust, and German National Identity (Harvard University Press, 1988, and 1997), and translated into German; In Search of Stability: Explorations in Historical Political Economy (Cambridge University Press, 1987); and Recasting Bourgeois Europe: Stabilization in France, Germany, and Italy in the Decade after World War I (Princeton University Press, 1975, and 1988) and translated into Italian and Spanish. Among other volumes, he has edited The Cold War in Europe: Era of a Divided Continent (Marcus Wiener, 1991 and 1996); The Marshall Plan and Germany (Oxford: Berg Press Limited, 1991 and German version in 1992; Changing Boundaries of the Political: Essays on the Evolving Balance between State and Society, Public and Private in Europe (Cambridge University Press, 1987); and he is the author of numerous articles and chapters. He is currently working on a history of the idea of territory, that is of politically organized space, since the sixteenth century.

He is married to Pauline Rubbelke Maier, professor of history at MIT, and they have three grown children: Andrea (b. 2/11/65), Nicholas (b. 5/30/68), Jessica (b. 9/4/74).