Author: Michael Stolleis
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
This history of the discipline of public law in Germany covers three dramatic decades of the twentieth century. It opens with the First World War, analyses the highly creative years of the Weimar Republic, and recounts the decline of German public law that began in 1933 and extended to the downfall of the Third Reich. The author examines the dialectic of scholarship and politics against the background of long-term developments in industrial societies, the rise of the interventionist state, the shift of state law and administrative law theory, and the emergence of new disciplines (tax law, social law, labour law, business administration law). Almost all the issues and questions that preoccupy state law and administrative law theory at the dawn of the twenty-first century were first pondered and debated during this period. Stolleis begins by emphasizing the long farewell to the nineteenth century and then moves on to examine the doctrine of state law and administrative law during the First World War. The impact of the Weimar Constitution and the of the Versailles Treaty on the discipline is discussed. Here the famous 'quarrel of direction' that occurred in the field of state law doctrine (1926-1929) played a central role. But equally important was the development of state law and administrative law theory (in both the Reich and its constituent states), administrative doctrine, and the jurisprudence of international law. Part two of the book is devoted to the impact of National Socialism. The displacement of Jewish scholars, the change of direction in the professional journals, and the shutdown of the Association of State Law Teachers form one aspect of the story. The other aspect is manifested in the erosion of public law and in the growing sense of depression that gripped its practitioners. In the end, it was not only state law that was destroyed by the Nazi experience, but the scholarly discipline that went with it. The author tackles questions about the co-responsibility of scholars for the Holocaust, and the reasons fwhy academic teachers of public law were all but absent in the opposition to the Nazi regime.