Wilhelm Bleek (political scientist)

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Wilhelm Bleek, 2017

Wilhelm Bleek (born September 8, 1940 in Bonn ) is a German political scientist who works with a historical perspective.

Live and act

Wilhelm Bleek studied history and mathematics at the University of Bonn from 1960 to 1961 . In 1961, on the recommendation of Karl Dietrich Bracher, he moved to the Free University of Berlin and continued his studies there with the subjects of political science , modern history, education and public law. Under Ernst Fraenkel , Bleek graduated from the Otto Suhr Institute in 1965 with an overall grade of "very good".

This was followed by a doctorate at the Free University of Berlin in 1969. His dissertation, supervised by Gerhard A. Ritter , on the subject of "From camera training to legal privilege" examined the social and administrative historical requirements for admission to the higher general administrative service in Germany. In the same year Bleek continued his academic career at the Social Science Faculty of the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich . Here he completed his habilitation under Kurt Sontheimer , whose scientific assistant he was from 1969 to 1981. The habilitation thesis dealt with the German policy of the SED and the founding of the GDR . Together with Kurt Sontheimer, in 1972, after relations within Germany had normalized, Bleek published an overview of the political, social and economic system of the GDR, which was influential in the Federal Republic's political education work.

In 1981 Bleek received a political science chair at the Ruhr University in Bochum , taking into account the "Political Systems in Germany: Federal Republic of Germany and the GDR". In the mid-1980s he was twice a visiting professor at the University of Toronto . During these years, the focus of his teaching and research was comparative research on Germany. In 1990/91 Bleek worked after the reunification in the GDR and the German unification in the development of his subject at the Humboldt University in Berlin .

Wilhelm Bleek continued, among other things, Kurt Sontheimer's standard work The Political System of the Federal Republic of Germany in numerous new editions since 1997. Since the mid-1990s, he has been particularly interested in the history of German political science, also in international comparison. These publications culminated in 2001 in the standard work "History of Political Science in Germany".

In September 2010 Bleek's biography of the pre- March political teacher, historian and constitutional politician Friedrich Christoph Dahlmann was published , who in 1837 rose to prominence among German prominence as the spokesman for the seven Göttingen professors who protested against the constitutional breach of the new Hanoverian king. In 2019, he had this book followed by a depiction of the Vormärz period in 23 miniatures.

Bleek's academic work developed in four phases from the focus on administrative policy and history to the GDR and comparative German research to the history of political science and finally to the history of the Vormärz.

Bleek is a member of the Scientific Council of the Brothers Grimm Society .


Wilhelm Bleek met his wife, an American guest student, during his time in Munich. The two married in 1973 and are parents of two children. The son, Philipp C. Bleek, is an Associate Professor of International Security Issues at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California . Since his retirement in 2005, Bleek has lived with his wife in Toronto , Canada.

The theologian Friedrich Bleek (1793-1859) is Wilhelm Bleek's great-great-grandfather.

Fonts (selection)

  • From camera training to legal privilege. Study, examination and training of senior civil servants in the general administrative service in Germany in the 18th and 19th centuries. Colloquium Verlag, Berlin 1973, ISBN 3-7678-0330-5 .
  • with Kurt Sontheimer : The GDR. Politics, society, economy. Hoffmann & Campe, Hamburg 1979, ISBN 3-455-09062-1 .
  • with Hanns W. Maull (Ed.): A completely normal state? Perspectives after 40 years of the Federal Republic. Piper, Munich / Zurich 1989, ISBN 3-492-11028-2 .
  • with Lothar Mertens : GDR dissertations. Doctoral practice and secrecy of doctoral theses in the SED state. Westdeutscher Verlag, Opladen 1994, ISBN 3-531-12614-8 .
  • with Lothar Mertens (Ed.): Bibliography of the secret GDR dissertations. 2 volumes, Saur, Munich 1994, ISBN 3-598-11209-2 .
  • with Hans J. Lietzmann (Ed.): Schools of German Political Science. Leske and Budrich, Opladen 1999, ISBN 3-8100-2116-4 .
  • History of Political Science in Germany. CH Beck, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-406-49602-4 .
  • with Hans J. Lietzmann (Ed.): Classics of Political Science. From Aristotle to David Easton. CH Beck, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-406-52794-9 .
  • with Andrea Gawrich : Basic features of the political system in Germany. Completely revised new edition. Piper, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-492-25148-8 .
  • Friedrich Christoph Dahlmann. A biography. CH Beck, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-406-60586-4 .
  • with Thomas Becker and Tilman Mayer (eds.): Friedrich Christoph Dahlmann - a political professor in the 19th century. V & R Unipress, Göttingen 2012, ISBN 978-3-89971-945-1 .
  • with Bernhard Lauer : Protestation of Conscience. The writings of justification of the Göttinger Sieben (= writings of the Brothers Grimm Society. New series, volume 36). Brothers Grimm Society, Kassel 2012, ISBN 978-3-940614-29-2 .
  • with Andreas Anter : State Concepts. The theories of German political science. Campus, Frankfurt am Main / New York 2013, ISBN 978-3-593-39895-2 .
  • The pre-march. Germany's departure into the modern age. CH Beck, Munich 2019, ISBN 978-3-406-73533-2 .


  • Andrea Gawrich , Hans J. Lietzmann: Politics and History. “Good politics” and their time. Wilhelm Bleek on his 65th birthday. Westphalian steam boat, Münster 2005, ISBN 3-89691-623-8 .
  • Andrea Gawrich, Wilhelm Knelangen : Wilhelm Bleek (born 1940). In: Eckhard Jesse , Sebastian Liebold (Hrsg.): German political scientists - work and activity. From Abendroth to Zellentin. Nomos, Baden-Baden 2014, pp. 129–142.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. See Wilhelm Bleek: Friedrich Christoph Dahlmann. A biography. Munich 2010, p. 58.
  2. ^ Ewald Grothe : Review of: Wilhelm Bleek: Vormärz. Germany's departure into the modern age. Scenes from German history 1815-1848, Munich: CH Beck, 2019. In: sehepunkte 19 (2019), No. 10 [10/15/2019]..