Researcher at RECET, 1.08.2020 -
Peter Wegenschimmel graduated in applied sociology and social anthropology from the University of Warsaw with a scholarship from the German Academic Scholarship Foundation. Between 2016 and 2019 he worked as a research associate in the research cluster “Practices and Relations of Labor in Change” at the Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies. From 2017 to 2019 he was an associate member of the Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies. In 2020 his PhD thesis “Non-Profit Industry: The Liquidation of East Central European Shipyards” was awarded the Business History Award by the German Business History Society (GUG).
Research project at RECET:
Trucking Europe: The Triple Transformation of European Freight Companies since the 1980s.
In the 1990s, Central and European freight forwarders increasingly replaced the old heroes of socialist labor from heavy industry. Despite the legacy of a rudimentary road infrastructure and a modal split inclined towards railroad transport, freight forwarders in Central and Eastern European countries have been subject to high volatility under the conditions of marketization. Small companies have emerged from the green field and developed into European champions in the transport sector. By multiplying perspectives, an entangled history of Central and East European road haulage reveals the decisive factors that explain the surprising rise of these companies: the gradual opening of the European common market and the simultaneous liberalization of the European transport industry. The project focuses on the interdependencies between three kinds of transformations that began in the 1980s: democratic, neoliberal, and logistical transformations. Selected freight forwarding companies from the Federal Republic of Germany, the German Democratic Republic, and the People’s Republic of Poland and their strategies vis-à-vis European integration are analyzed. Due to the key role played by freight forwarding companies in the transnationalization of national economies, as well as the interdependencies in the trajectories of the selected companies, Central European road haulage offers a classic arena through which to trace a transnational historiography of the long and complex economic transformation of Central and Eastern Europe.