Gesine Schwan (born 22 May 1943) is a German political science professor and member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany. In 1962, she began her studies in history, philosophy, romance languages, and political science at the Free University of Berlin and later at University of Freiburg. After research conducted in Warsaw and Kraków, she obtained her Ph.D. in 1970 from FU Berlin for a dissertation on the Polish philosopher Leszek Kołakowski. In Krakow University, she became assistant professor and continued her work on the critique of Marx for which she received a habilitation in 1975. Schwan was appointed full professor at the Department of Political Science at FU Berlin in 1977. The SDP has nominated her twice as a candidate for the federal presidential elections.