States of division: Border and boundary formation in Cold War rural Germany

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


"The book analyses the division of Germany, showing it to be a multi-faceted process, which progressed unevenly and was only completed after three decades. The book examines the processes of border formation as social processes of interaction between state agencies and local and regional communities along the emerging East–West divide. This analysis demonstrates that along with the crucial context of the Cold War, multiple historical and social frameworks are required to decipher division and explain how and where it took place and struck root. Dividing a modern, integrated society along a 1,000-mile border was not planned or intended by the Allies and at no stage was agreed upon by East and West German authorities. Division came to be, through the practices of state and border formation in the context of rural peripheral society. It gave rise to contradictions and conflicts with practice and tradition, undermined economy, and culture in the borderlands. Thus it required protracted negotiations and considerable resources. It was not a fait accompli of Yalta or Potsdam, nor was it completed with the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961. German division only stabilized as a socio-political fact through the inter-German compromise of the 1970s, which also planted the seeds of its undoing. Integrating local, regional, and national perspectives, this book tells a complex story, showing how diplomacy and policy affected daily practices and were affected by them."--
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages219
ISBN (Electronic)0191652601, 0191751332, 0199672385, 9780191751332, 9780199672387
StatePublished - 2014

Publication series

NameOxford studies in modern European history
PublisherOxford University Press

ULI Keywords

  • uli
  • National characteristics, German -- History -- 20th century
  • Germany -- Boundaries
  • Germany -- History -- 1945-1990


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