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 Research Projects at the MPIfG

Reorganizing the Political: Business Consultants in the Public Sector, 1950-1990

Alina Marktanner

Business consultants' activities in the public sector reshaped the political sphere of the Federal Republic of Germany in the second half of the twentieth century. Taking a cultural history and discourse analytical approach, the dissertation project asks how business consultants came to be considered political actors from the 1950s on and how their consulting activities led to new political semantics and practices. Exemplary cases include Kienbaum, McKinsey, and Roland Berger. The primary data consists of publicly available archival material, gray literature, teaching material from the consulting industry, newspaper articles, and interviews with consultants and politicians. The project contributes to debates in contemporary history and political history, most importantly to the ongoing efforts to explain the significance of the time following the 1970s within the long twentieth century. It serves to conceptualize the perspective of the economization of the social as an interpretative framework for the period following West Germany’s postwar "economic miracle." Project duration: October 2015 to August 2020.
Marktanner, Alina. 2019. "Wie viel darf Schule kosten? Unternehmensberater als Erfüllungsgehilfen staatlicher Haushaltssanierung, 1980er- und 1990er-Jahre." In Ökonomisierung: Debatten und Praktiken in der Zeitgeschichte, herausgegeben von Rüdiger Graf. Göttingen: Wallstein.
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