Top-Down and Horizontal Structures in Soviet-Bloc States: Policy Implementation in East Germany

Cold War Studies Seminar
Event Format
In person
CGIS S250 1730 Cambridge St

How did Soviet-bloc states ensure efficient policy implementation? A good deal of research has focused on the center’s top-down control. Important as this dimension is, we also need to take account of “horizontal” (interlocked) administrative relationships. Communist states were essentially a three-branch structure comprising state agencies, the Communist party, and the state security apparatus. On high-priority issues, all three branches were involved. The East German state’s regulation of foreign travel underscores the relevance of “horizontal” analysis as a complement to top-down assessments.

Refreshments will be provided.

Time Period


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