Peter Graf von Kielmansegg

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Peter Graf Kielmansegg

Peter Matthias Alexander Graf von Kielmansegg (born June 27, 1937 in Hanover ) is a German political scientist and professor emeritus at the University of Mannheim .


Peter Graf von Kielmansegg comes from the Kielmansegg family and was born on June 27, 1937 as the second of four children of the officer Johann Adolf Graf von Kielmansegg (1906-2006) and Mechthild von Dincklage (1909-2000) at Wolfsburg Castle near Fallersleben . He comes from a famous noble family of officers and politicians. One of his ancestors was the reformer Philipp Melanchthon . His father was a German general who was arrested after July 20, 1944 , later was one of the fathers of the internal leadership of the Bundeswehr and was NATO commander in chief. Having grown up in this tradition, Peter Graf Kielmansegg wrote a comprehensive study of the history of Germany between 1945 and 1989 (“After the catastrophe”).

From 1957 he studied law and history at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn , the Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel and the Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen . In 1964 he was with the work of Baron von Stein and the Central Administration of the ally powers in the years 1813 and 1814 in Bonn doctorate . In 1971 he completed his habilitation at the University of Darmstadt with Eugen Kogon .

Peter Graf Kielmansegg 2005 in the Stuttgart Castle Church

1971 Peter Graf Kielmansegg received a reputation as a professor at the University of Cologne and in 1976 a visiting professor at Georgetown University in Washington, DC From 1985 until his retirement in 2002 he was Professor of Political Science at the University of Mannheim.

From 2003 to 2009 Graf Kielmansegg was President of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences . He is also vice-president of the Union of German Academies of Sciences , vice-president of the German National Academic Foundation and is active on the scientific advisory board of the Fritz Thyssen Foundation and the journal Totalitarismus und Demokratie .

His work and research focus are in the areas of political science democracy research, the history of political thought and contemporary history. Peter Graf Kielmansegg developed a totalitarianism model to define and explain totalitarian systems.

He is married to the one year older Walpurgis Countess von Schweinitz and Krain, Baroness von Kauder . They have 3 children.


Peter Graf von Kielmansegg is a member of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and the German Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech) .

Works (selection)

  • Popular sovereignty. An examination of the conditions of democratic legitimacy . Stuttgart, 1977
  • Germany and the First World War. 1968
  • Thinking about Germany. 1980
  • The experiment of freedom. 1988
  • After the disaster. A history of divided Germany. Siedler, Berlin 2000, ISBN 978-3-8868-0329-3 . (As a special print in the 4-volume edition of Siedlers Deutsche Geschichte under the title “The divided country - Germany from 1945-1990.” Bassermann Verlag, Munich 2004, ISBN of the 4-volume edition 3-8094-1764-5)
  • The grammar of freedom. Eight attempts on the democratic constitutional state . Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft, Baden-Baden 2013, ISBN 978-3-8329-7855-6 .
  • Whither way, Europe? Contributions to an overdue debate . Nomos, Baden-Baden 2015, ISBN 978-3-8452-6110-2 .


  • André Kaiser / Thomas Zittel (ed.): Democracy Theory and Democracy Development. Festschrift for Peter Graf Kielmansegg. VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, Wiesbaden 2004, ISBN 978-3-531-14118-3 .
  • Ahmet Cavuldak (ed.): The grammar of democracy. Peter Graf Kielmansegg's understanding of the state. Nomos, Baden-Baden 2019, ISBN 978-3-8487-4617-0 .
  • Eckhard Jesse : Political science with historical depth of field. Peter Graf Kielmansegg, long an influential outsider in his discipline, found late recognition in his subject . In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of July 29, 2020, page N4.

Web links

Commons : Peter Graf von Kielmansegg  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Landmann / Wolter / Zlotowicz: Villas in Eisenach, Weimar 1997, pp. 200–205, here p. 203 ( Stefan Wolter )
  2. ^ "Heidelberg Academy of Sciences elects Hermann H. Hahn as its new President" , January 27, 2009