Sylvia Greiffenhagen

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Sylvia Greiffenhagen (* 1949 in Stuttgart ) is a German political scientist and social planner. She was a professor of political science at the Evangelical University of Nuremberg in the social affairs department with the subjects of social and local politics, social planning and community work. Greiffenhagen currently lives in Esslingen am Neckar . Together with her late husband Martin Greiffenhagen and also as a solo author, she has written numerous publications, particularly on the subject of political culture. As a result, Greiffenhagen left a lasting mark on the term political culture in the FRG.


Greiffenhagen first studied political science, history and psychology in Stuttgart and Heidelberg. She later did a PhD. rer. soc. at the University of Tübingen on a topic of local political research. After completing her studies, she worked as a freelance science journalist and worked in a wide variety of media (radio, television, daily press, magazines, exhibition construction). Together with her husband, she went on lecture tours through many regions of the world on behalf of the Goethe Institute. After various positions in professional activity (including employee at Weeber + Partner, Institute for Urban Planning and Social Research Stuttgart / Berlin and full-time professor at the Protestant University of Nuremberg), she now works primarily within the framework of the Institute for Social Research and Planning in Stuttgart / Nuremberg, which she founded ( IfSS). She teaches as an honorary professor at her previous university. As part of the IfSS, she oversees research, consulting and evaluation processes in the fields of social planning and urban development policy. Examples of Greiffenhagen's activities in this context include working on the poverty report of the City of Stuttgart, providing scientific support for the model project cooperation between police, youth and social work in Nuremberg, scientific support for model projects on 'living in old age', and the development of models within the framework of the 'City 2030' program of the Federal Ministry of Research, preparatory studies and district management tasks for a wide range of municipalities as part of the federal-state program 'Socially Integrative City'. Greiffenhagen worked and works on a voluntary basis in numerous social and non-profit institutions. For many decades this included membership in the board of the Carlo Schmid Foundation , in the board of trustees of the Social Work Foundation Esslingen or in the board of the Swabian Heimatbund (chairwoman of the monument committee). She was and is also a member of the juries of various architecture and urban planning prizes, e.g. B. the jury of the Monument Prize Baden-Württemberg (formerly: Peter Haag Prize), the jury of the Prom. Prize for Energy-Efficient Building and the Architecture and Urban Development Prize of the Arge Baden-Württembergischer Bausparkassen.

Content information about the work

Until the 1990s, Greiffenhagen, together with her husband Martin Greiffenhagen, dealt intensively with political cultural research. "A Difficult Fatherland - On the Political Culture of the Federal Republic of Germany" is an important work that was published in 1979 for the 30th anniversary of the FRG in advance as a six-part mirror series and in this way achieved great fame. In 1993, again in collaboration with Martin Greiffenhagen, she published the completely new edition of the book. The work with the programmatic subtitle On Political Culture in Unified Germany received the 1994 prize “The Political Book of the Year”. In it, the two authors deal with the identity problems of Germans with their country, caused by historical experiences such as authoritarian political history and the Nazi era, the decades-long separation of Germany into East and West, and finally the reunification of the two very different political cultures of East and West Germany.

Birgit Sauer writes in her study The Ashes of the Sovereign on page 23ff .:

Sylvia and Martin Greiffenhagen formulate the leading interests of political: cultural research as questions of identity, that is, the unity of political institutions and of: political consciousness on the one hand and the self-image and external image of a people on the other, according to: legitimacy, the willingness of the population to follow suit and finally Anomie, the measure of: alienation between population and political institutions.

In 1981, together with Martin Greiffenhagen and Rainer Prätorius, she published the concise dictionary on political culture in the Federal Republic of Germany , which was published as a completely new edition in 2002 and is still considered a standard work in political cultural research to this day. Another work that she wrote with her husband is “Das Glück Realities of a Dream”. In this book, the term “happiness” is critically discussed and individual factors of happiness are placed in the foreground. This is how a small cultural and social history of happiness came about. From the 1990s onwards, she increasingly turned to the topics of social policy, social planning and urban development. Numerous publications deal with the demographic and social change in our society, from a theoretical point of view as well as application-oriented. In particular, the effects of social change on architecture and urban planning are the focus of her interest. As a scientific hobby, Sylvia Greiffenhagen has been researching the human-animal relationship in the past and present since the 1990s. Her book “Animals as Therapy. New ways in education and healing ”(Droemer Knaur Munich) is now considered a standard work of scientific analysis of the diverse positive effects of animals on people in difficult life situations. Her book reports, among other things, on the theory and practice of the targeted use of animals in stationary facilities such as homes for the elderly, the disabled and nursing homes, youth welfare facilities, prisons and hospitals.

Publications (selection)

  • M. and S. Greiffenhagen: A Difficult Fatherland - On Political Culture in United Germany. List, 1993, ISBN 3-471-77668-0 .
  • M. and S. Greiffenhagen (eds.): Concise dictionary on the political culture of the Federal Republic of Germany. Wiesbaden 2002. (In it: by S. Greiffenhagen the articles "Education", "Political Socialization", "Political Culture" and "Social Security")
  • S. Greiffenhagen: Isnys political culture in the Allgäu . On the trail of a free imperial city. (= Tübingen studies on regional politics and political regional studies. Volume 2). Engel, Kehl 1988. (Diss. Tübingen)
  • S. Greiffenhagen, G. Ingendahl: Isny in the 19th and 20th centuries. Isny 2003.
  • M. and S. Greiffenhagen: The luck. Realities of a dream. Piper, Munich 1988.
  • S. Greiffenhagen (ed.): 'Revolutionsfabrik' and 'Hautevolée- Sozialdemokrats'. 125 years of history of the SPD Esslingen. (= Esslinger Studies. Special Volume ). 1995.
  • W. Asam, S. Greiffenhagen et al. (Ed.): Living and care. New ways of community-oriented senior citizenship. Freiburg 1995.
  • S. Greiffenhagen, K. Neller (Ed.): Practice without theory? Scientific discourses on the federal-state program "Districts with Special Development Needs - The Socially Integrative City". Wiesbaden 2005.
  • Forschungsverbund Esslingen 2030: Stadt 2030. Be a citizen today - Be a citizen in 2030. (Result report of the research project Stadt 2030 of the German Research Ministry). Esslingen 2003.
  • S. Greiffenhagen, O. Buck-Werner: Animals as therapy. New ways in education and healing. 2nd, completely revised edition. Rümelsberg, 2007.
  • Numerous articles and essays in magazines and anthologies in the fields of political culture, social and local politics as well as urban development and social planning.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Evangelical University of Nuremberg: Directory of persons. Retired lecturers,