Grass roots local partnerships in the Federal Republic of Germany: instruments for social inclusion and economic integration?
Despite a levelling-out of average living conditions as between East and West, there has been no improvement - even in relative East/West termsin the conditions of the affected East German population groups; rather, in both halves of the country there has been general growth in the number of persons excluded from the convergence process (Hanesch et al. 1994: 37). Besides the material deprivation suffered by these socially excluded people, a subjective feeling of deterioration in psychosocial and physical health is a decisive factor in the overall pattern of decline. Although the experience of social exclusion varies widely from one individual to another, those affected - especially in the former GDR - blame the politicians for what has happened.