Manfred G. Schmidt

Manfred Gustav Schmidt ( born July 25, 1948 in Donauwörth ) is a German political scientist and professor at the University of Heidelberg.


After studying political science and English at the Ruprecht -Karls- University, he followed the initially active in Heidelberg political scientist Gerhard Lehmbruch as an employee at the Chair at the University of Tübingen, where he wrote his dissertation. 1981 and his habilitation at the University of Konstanz; turn Gerhard Lehmbruch was supervisor of the thesis. His first professorship joined Schmidt in 1980 at the Free University of Berlin. In 1987 he moved to the University of Heidelberg. Thither he came back in 2001 after he had moved to the Centre for Social Policy, University of Bremen in the meantime in 1997. Schmidt was the winter semester 2001/02 to the winter semester 2006 /07, Institute Director of the Institute of Political Science in Heidelberg.

2002 Schmidt was elected as a member of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences, a year later as an associate member of the Berlin -Brandenburg Academy of Sciences.

Since October 2006, Schmidt Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences of the University of Heidelberg, which counts the number of students to the major faculties of the University. Schmidt had previously been, from October 1995 to September 1997, Dean in Heidelberg, namely the Faculty of Humanities, which at that time still belonged to the Institute of Political Science.

Manfred G. Schmidt is married to the political scientist Ute Wachendorfer -Schmidt and has three children.

Research and work

Manfred G. Schmidt is known especially for his research on the political system of the Federal Republic of Germany, on social policy, the welfare state and democracy theories. One focus of his current research represents the education spending in an international comparison

Among his students in 2010 published the fifth edition of the manual theories of democracy often finds use, as well as his reference to the dictionary policy, which he composed in single authorship and the occasion of the second and third edition (2004/ 2010) has substantially revised and expanded. His recent book in February 2007, the German political system (2nd edition 2011), which explicitly aimed to interested lay people may be referred to as new standard work in this field and joins the ranks of the publications of Rudzio and Beyme on this subject. Unlike these two, however, Schmidt treated politics not only in terms of the institutional order ( Polity ) and political processes ( Politics ), but also in terms of policy content (Policy ). Based on the policy fields outside, constitutional, financial, economic, social and environmental policy, it is assumed as the peculiarities of the political order and structure of the political process in Germany affect the design of the policy content.

Schmidt Marking the domestic government activity in Germany as a " policy of the middle way " has been found in the political science widespread, even beyond the borders of the German language area beyond. Finally, Schmidt has first presented the thesis of the " Policy of the Middle Way " in 1987 in an English essay. Schmidt himself describes the thesis of the " policy of the middle way " as follows: " [ I] n the internal politics a pattern of state activity has emerged that highlights the Federal Republic from among the other industrialized countries: the ' policy of the middle way '. This middle path runs between the northern European welfare capitalism, whose governments strive for the greatest possible social equality, comprehensive welfare state protection and a high level of employment, and the liberal capitalism in particular the United States, give the governments the market right of way and lead the state on shorter reins. "In detail, so Schmidt, the " policy of the middle way " in Germany draw in particular by four characteristics:


Within the political science Schmidt is highly appreciated. In a survey conducted by the German Association of Political Science ( DVPW ) among German political scientists to the reputation of technical representatives he reached in 1999 at the mention of the " most important political scientist Germany's " third place, comparative to the sector of Political Science, he was ranked even as the most important scientist. In a repeat of the survey in 2006, he was - called the second most important political scientists of Germany - Fritz Scharpf behind. In the sub-regions in comparative politics and domestic policy / Political System of the Federal Republic of Germany Schmidt reached first place in the reputation ranking, in subdivision Policy-Forschung/Verwaltungswissenschaft fourth.

In 1981 Schmidt for his habilitation thesis " The welfare state policy under bourgeois and social democratic governments - an international comparison " the Stein Rokkan Prize for Comparative Social Research International UNESCO. 1995 Schmidt was awarded by the German Research Foundation ( DFG) for his research on the welfare state, the renowned, then doped with 1.5 million DM research money Leibniz Prize.

Publications (selection )

  • State apparatus and military policy in the Federal Republic of Germany ( 1966-1973 ). Barriers and problems resulting from State intervention policy in the military and defense sector. Achenbach, Lollar 1975.
  • Manfred G. Schmidt, Ferdinand F. Müller: Empirical Political Science. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart and Others 1979.
  • CDU and SPD in government. A comparison of their policy in the countries. Campus, Frankfurt A.m. / New York 1980.
  • The welfare state policy under bourgeois and social democratic governments. An international comparison. Campus, Frankfurt A.m. / New York 1982.
  • Governance in the Federal Republic of Germany. Leske & Budrich, Opladen 1992.
  • Political Institutions in the Federal Republic of Germany. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2003.
  • Social policy of the GDR. VS Verlag, Wiesbaden, 2004.
  • Social policy in Germany. Historical development and international comparison. VS Verlag, Wiesbaden, 3rd edition, 2005.
  • The political system of the Federal Republic of Germany. C. H. Beck, Munich, 2005.
  • The German political system. Institutions, decision-making and policies. C. H. Beck, 2nd edition, 2011.
  • The welfare state. An introduction to the historical and international comparison. (together with Tobias Ostheim, Nico A. Siegel, Reimut Zohlnhöfer ), VS Verlag, Wiesbaden, 2007.
  • Theories of democracy. An Introduction. VS Verlag, Wiesbaden, 5th edition 2010 (license issue Federal Centre for Political Education, Bonn 2010).
  • Dictionary to politics. Kröner, Stuttgart, 3rd edition, 2010.