Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung (WZB), Berlin
The title of this contribution is a question with a double meaning: On the one hand it refers to the method, on the other hand it refers to the results of German unification. After a preview of recent evaluations we discuss comparisons of the Federal Republic and the GDR from the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s. Five asymmetries between the two German states are delineated: Size and population, economic strength, migration, travel and mass-communication, massexit and mass protest. Next we resume our theses of a stabilizing transformation, East German counter arguments and the most recent research results on living-conditions, political culture, convergences and divergences.