Peter Schwieger
Prof. Dr. Peter Schwieger

Prof. Dr. Peter Schwieger

University of Bonn
Institute of Oriental and Asian Studies (IOA)
Department of Mongolian and Tibetan Studies
Brühler Straße 7
D-53113 Bonn
Phone: +49 / (0)228 / 73 74652


Current Position

  • Professor for Tibetology


For several years, Peter Schwieger’s research has particularly dealt with the political and social history of Tibetan societies from the 17th to the early 20th century. The various forms of rulership on the Tibetan plateau – reaching from areas in modern India and Pakistan in the West up to areas now belonging to the Chinese provinces Sichuan, Yunnan and Qinghai in the East and Northeast – included stratified societies with different balances between aristocratic and clerical elites. In all of these societies, the social hierarchy was connected through mutual dependencies and was primarily based on an agricultural economy. No matter how remote some of these societies appear at first glance, they were all embedded in a supra-regional network of political and economic relations.

12 monographs, 43 articles, numerous invited talks and lectures, 2 edited volumes.


  • 1995                            Habilitation and Venia legendi in Tibetology
  • 1977–1982                Ph.D. in Tibetology
  • 1972–1977                M.A. in Comparative Religious Studies, Tibetology and Philosophy, University of Bonn, Germany

Academic Positions

  • 2001–present             Professor of Tibetology, University of Bonn, Germany
  • 2001                             Guest Professor, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany
  • 2000–2001                 Adjunct Professor, University of Marburg, Germany
  • 1995–2000                 Adjunct Professor, University of Bonn, Germany
  • 1978–2001                 Research Associate, Union Catalogue of Oriental Manuscripts in German Collections                          

Scholarships and Awards

  • 2016–2018                 Opus magnum scholarship of the VW Foundation

Participation in Academic Centers and Consortium Projects

  • 2016–present             subproject "Zentrum oder Peripherie: Herrschaft zwischen gedachter und realer Ordnung in tibetischen Gesellschaften am Beispiel der Namgyal-Dynastie Ladakhs
                                          (16. bis 19. Jh.)" ["Center or Periphery: Rule between Imagined and Real Order in Tibetan Societies. The Namgyal Dynasty of Ladakh (16th–19th Century)], DFG
                                          Collaborative Research Center 1167 "'Macht' and 'Herrschaft' – Premodern Configurations in a Transcultural Perspective" 
  • 2016–present             jointly with Prof. Ch. Ramble, Paris (EPHE), Head of the German-French research project "Social Status in the Tibetan World"
  • 2012–2015                 together with Prof. Ch. Ramble, Paris (EPHE), Head of the German-French research project "A Social History of Tibetan Societies from the 17th to the 20th Century"
  • 2002–present             Member of the management committee of the Union Catalogue of Oriental Manuscripts in German Collections, sub-project leader for the cataloging of the Tibetica
  • 2002–2005                  Head of the project "Digital acquisition and processing of Tibetan documents and their publication on the Internet" (DFG)
  • 1999–2001                  German-Chinese research project "Digitale Erfassung tibetischer Archivbestände in Lhasa und ihre Bereitstellung im Internet" ["Digitalization of Tibetan Archives
                                           in Lhasa and its Provision for the Internet"], project funding by DFG and GTZ
  • 1992–1993                  Participation in the DFG Priority Program "Siedlungsprozesse und Staatenbildungen im tibetischen Himalaya" ["Settlement Processes and State Formations in the
                                           Tibetan Himalayas”], headed by Prof. Haffner, University of Giessen, and Prof. Schuh, University of Bonn, Germany
  • 1978–1988                 Member of the DFG Collaborative Research Center (SFB 12) "Central Asia" at University of Bonn, Germany 

Third-Party Funding

  • German Research Foundation (DFG)
  • Agence Nationale de la Recherche (National Agency for Research (ANR))
  • GTZ
  • Thyssen Foundation
  • Henkel Foundation

Selected Publications

  • 2015. The Dalai Lama and the Emperor of China. A Political History of the Tibetan Institution of Reincarnation. New York: Columbia University Press.

  • 2009. Handbuch zur Grammatik der klassischen tibetischen Schriftsprache. Beiträge zur Zentralasienforschung 11. Halle: International Institute for Tibetan and Buddhist Studies.

  • 1999. Teilung und Reintegration des Königreichs von Ladakh im 18. Jahrhundert. Der Staatsvertrag zwischen Ladakh und Purig aus dem Jahr 1753. Monumenta Tibetica Historica 3(7). Bonn: VGH Wissenschaftsverlag GmbH.

  • 1995. Die mTshur-phu-Ausgabe der Sammlung Rin-chen gter-mdzod chen-mo. Vol. 14–34. Verzeichnis der orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland 11(11). Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag.

  • 1990. Die mTshur-phu-Ausgabe der Sammlung Rin-chen gter-mdzod chen-mo. Vol. 1–14. Verzeichnis der orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland 11(10). Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag.

  • 1989. Tibetisches Erzählgut aus Brag-g.yab. Texte mit Übersetzungen, grammatischem Abriß und Glossar. Beiträge zur tibetischen Erzählforschung 10. Bonn: VGH Wissenschaftsverlag GmbH.

  •  and Loden S. Dagyab. 1989. Die ersten dGe-lugs-pa-Hierarchen von Brag-g.yab (1572–1692). Monumenta Tibetica Historica 2(2). Bonn: VGH Wissenschaftsverlag GmbH.

  • 1985. Die Werksammlungen Kun-tu bzan-po’i dgons-pa zan-thal, Ka-dag ran-byun ran-sar und mKha’-’gro gsan-ba ye-ses-kyi rgyud. Verzeichnis der orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland 11(9). Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag.

  • and Jampa K. Phukhang. 1982. Erzählgut aus A-mdo und Brag-g.yab. Beiträge zur tibetischen Erzählforschung 4. St. Augustin: VGH Wissenschaftsverlag GmbH.

  • ed. 1978. Ein tibetisches Wunschgebet um Wiedergeburt in der Sukhavati. Beiträge zur Zentralasienforschung 1. St. Augustin: VGH Wissenschaftsverlag GmbH.

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