The Public Debate on Genetic Engineering in the GDR

Download a study (in German) that investigates the public debate on genetic engineering in the GDR (East Germany) from the late 60s to late 80s. The genetic-engineering debate is probably the best example for the limited but still existent scope for public discourse in post-Stalinist Soviet political systems. Especially novellists voiced concerns about the manipulation of the genetic code while the Communist government hailed it as a technology of the future. The debate is also interesting with regard to the conflicting application of Marxist theory to the assesment of the risks and benefits ascribed to genetic engineering.
The paper (officially titled: Klaus von Lampe, Die öffentliche Diskussion über die Gentechnik in der DDR, Diplomarbeit, Fachbereich Politische Wissenschaft der Freien Universität Berlin, October 1989, 109 p.) is primarily based on research conducted at the IGW Erlangen in the summer of 1989. The paper was submitted as a thesis to obtain the Diploma-degree from the political-science faculty of the Free University Berlin in October of 1989, coincidently just one day prior to the resignation of Erich Honecker as leader of the East German Communist Party that marked the downfall of the post-Stalinist regime in the GDR and eventually led to German reunification a year later.

Some of the findings are reflected in the following publications:
Klaus von Lampe, Die Gentechnik-Diskussion in der DDR - Ein Fallbeispiel zum Spielraum ungelenkter Öffentlichkeit in der Vor-Wende-Zeit, in: deutsche studien Nr. 121, April 1994, S. 75-94 (PDF)
Klaus von Lampe, Einige Anmerkungen zur politischen Stellung der Wissenschaftler im System der DDR - Interessenartikulation und Interessendurchsetzung am Beispiel der Gentechnik, in: hochschule ost, Mai/Juni 1995, S. 86-93

The thesis contains an extensive list of pertinent material and gives a more in-depth analysis of the arguments used by the various sides.

If you don't read German I will be happy to answer your e-mailed questions on the topic.

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