Comecon Revisited. Integration in the Eastern Bloc and Entanglements with the Global Economy

Uwe Müller (SFB 1199 & GWZO) & Dagmara Jajeśniak-Quast (Viadrina U Frankfurt/Oder), eds.

Publication Date

February 2018


Leipzig: Leipziger Universitätsverlag












After the dissolution of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA) in 1991, only a few historical studies on its development have been published. Contrary to this, the political, and partly also the cultural and social, conditions within the communist states; the political relations between the Soviet Union and the other Eastern bloc states; and the focal points of the Cold War were thoroughly investigated topics in contemporary history due to the easier accessibility of sources. Meanwhile, the development of the CMEA was regarded as an ultimately completed story, which hardly anyone was interested in already at the end of the 1990s. In 2010, Martin Dangerield stated: “Ten years ago the 50th anniversary of the founding of the CMEA passed without anyone taking notice of it, and with its 60th anniversary it was no different.”

In the last few years, a new generation of historians has rediscovered the CMEA as an object of research. They were personally much less influenced by the ideological clashes of the Cold War. Probably, therefore, it was easier for them to take up the current tendencies of contemporary historical research in the beginning of the twenty-first century and to apply them to an object of investigation, in which – contrary to previous assessments – there are still secrets to be discovered. Some results of looking at the history of the CMEA from new perspectives are presented in this volume.

While the research on the CMEA until 2000 was concentrated on its internal functioning, today it is understood much more in the context of a global contemporary and economic history. It is, therefore, a complementary concern of this volume to present some insights into the positioning of the Eastern bloc in the globalizing world economy.


Biographical Notes

Dr. Uwe Müller (SFB 1199 & Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe (GWZO), Leipzig University, Germany)
Uwe Müller studied history at Leipzig University and gained a PhD in economic history at the Humboldt University of Berlin. His research interests include the economic history of East Central Europe in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries with a special focus on the integration of this region in the European and world economy and the development of transport infrastructures.

Prof. Dagmara Jajeśniak-Quast (Center for Interdisciplinary Polish Studies, Viadrina University Frankfurt/Oder, Germany)
Dagmara Jajeśniak-Quast heads the Center for Interdisciplinary Polish Studies (ZIP) at the European University Viadrina (EUV) and the Graduate College for Interdisciplinary Polish Studies. As an economist and economic historian, she habilitated on European history (with a focus on economic history) at the University of Siegen in 2013. She has worked and researched at a variety of institutes, including the Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung (ZZF) in Potsdam, the University of Erfurt, the Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe (GWZO) at Leipzig University and the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS) in the Humanities and Social Sciences of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) in Wassenaar. Currently, her research focuses on social economics.