Why bother re-exami­ning the DDR’s achie­ve­ments, prin­ci­ples, and struc­tures thirty years after its down­fall? What can we learn from the DDR’s alter­na­tive econo­mic prac­ti­ces in today’s world, where the triumph of capi­ta­lism has exacer­ba­ted the problems of inequa­lity and poverty and has resul­ted in more frequent crises? What did socia­list demo­cracy really look like? What contra­dic­tions arose from the ever­y­day appli­ca­tion of a plan­ned economy? What lessons can we draw from the DDR’s ulti­mate failure?


With this series Studies on the DDR, the Inter­na­tio­nale Forschungs­stelle DDR (Inter­na­tio­nal Rese­arch Centre DDR) toge­ther with Tricon­ti­nen­tal: Insti­tute for Social Rese­arch seek to encou­rage a new enga­ge­ment with the history and prin­ci­ples of the DDR. It is our goal to re-evaluate the legacy and expe­ri­en­ces of this socia­list state. 


This educa­tio­nal series on the socia­list agenda and reali­ties of the DDR explo­res aspects of ever­y­day life, provi­des facts about the country’s social achie­ve­ments, and exami­nes the poli­ti­cal and econo­mic foun­da­ti­ons of this socia­list state. By reflec­ting on the lived expe­ri­en­ces of daily life, which are gene­rally left out of the domi­nant narra­tive due to the crus­hing victory of capi­ta­lism and the domi­nance of the market economy, we hope to make a useful contri­bu­tion to the debate curr­ently taking place within progres­sive move­ments. After
all, milli­ons of people around the world are still fight­ing for advance­ments that were once a given in this socia­list system but were lost with its downfall.