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Modern Languages


Lisa Ohm


This project aims at identifying the key components of Germany’s Kulturerbe, a type of cultural heritage that strengthens its ability to overcome economic crises. I examine how the political and economic measures that Germany uses to overcome financial crises and sustain economic growth result organically from the socio-cultural aspects of German society that help mold a national identity centered on balancing prosperity with social equality.

The Kulturerbe is a socio-historical factor encompassing such elements as work ethic and frugality bred from adversity. Germany’s fundamental preparation for a sustainable plan for economic stability began with the nation’s unification over 140 years ago. Through my research, I uncover some of the major causes, outcomes, and methods used to shape the German economy from its unification until today and the role the Kulturerbe plays.

The ultimate goal of my research is to determine the building blocks of a successful economy. By examining why an economy like Germany’s seems better suited to withstand crises than others, I conclude with a recommendation as to whether the German model is one from which struggling or developing markets can learn and upon which they can base future social, political, and economic policies.


Readers: Andreas Kiryakakis, Mark Thamert, Karen Erickson