HY4B6      Half Unit
German Transformations since 1990

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Professor Constantin Goschler


This course is available on the MA in Asian and International History (LSE and NUS), MA in Modern History, MSc in Empires, Colonialism and Globalisation, MSc in History of International Relations, MSc in International Affairs (LSE and Peking University), MSc in International and Asian History, MSc in International and World History (LSE & Columbia) and MSc in Theory and History of International Relations. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

Following German reunification in 1990, both Germany and its role in Europe have undergone substantial changes in the past 30 years. The course will bring together political, economic and social history in a transnational perspective and thus place the neoliberal and human rights agendas of the first decade of the post-cold-war era within a common interpretative framework. On the one hand, the transformation of East Germany must be viewed against the backdrop of the parallel transformation processes in Eastern and Western Europe. On the other hand, it is also a question of the extent to which German reunification also changed West Germany in the context of a retroactive “co-transformation” (Philip Ther). Combining the often separately discussed issues of societal changes and transitional justice following the collapse of communism can provide a better understanding of both internal developments in Germany and its changing role in Europe. For that purpose, the course will focus on the following questions: How did political, economic and social transformation develop in Germany since 1990 and how were these processes interrelated? And how did these developments shape the perception of Germany in Europe and other parts of the world?


20 hours of seminars in the MT.

Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6 of the MT.

Formative coursework

One essay (2000 words) in the Michaelmas Term.

Indicative reading

  • Böick, Marcus. “From the socialist ‘cold,’ but burned by the capitalist ‘heat’? The dynamics of political revolution and economic transformation in Eastern Germany after 1990.” Sustainability: Science, Practice and Policy 16,1, 2020: 143-154
  • Goschler, Constantin. “German Reunification and the Challenge of Transitional Justice.” In Transitional Justice in Unified Korea, edited by Baek Buhm-Suk and Ruti G. Teitel, 123-135. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015
  • Sharp, Ingrid. “The Sexual Unification of Germany.” Journal of the History of Sexuality 13,3, 2004: 348-365
  • Silver, Hilary. “The Social Integration of Germany since Unification.” German Politics & Society, 28, 2010,1, Special Issue: 165-188
  • Ther, Philipp. Europe since 1989: A History, translated by Charlotte Hughes-Kreutzmüller. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2016
  • Ther, Philipp. “The price of unity: The transformation of Germany and Eastern Europe after 1989.” OENB. Focus on European Economic Integration, Q3/2019: 41-54
  • Zatlin, Jonathan R. “Unifying without Integrating: The East German Collapse and German Unity.” Central European History 43,3, 2010: 484-507.


Essay (85%, 5000 words) in January.
Presentation (15%) in the MT.

Key facts

Department: International History

Total students 2021/22: Unavailable

Average class size 2021/22: Unavailable

Controlled access 2021/22: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills