Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Susanne Baer

Administrative Law & Administrative Science

On this site you can find...

...a brief introduction and literature references on the subject of administrative law studies and administrative science.


Today, almost all spheres of life are, to some degree, legalised. At the same time, deregulation processes are taking place. Different control or regulation mechanisms are informed by different conceptions regarding the relationship between the state and civil society. Therefore, in the field of administrative law, the development of the law in the context of changes in public administration as a phenomenon between regulation and deregulation, or between different levels of regulation (meta-regulation, as one), or between different modes of regulation, is of interest.

After the NS regime, in the science of administrative law, the primary aim was drawing constitutional boundaries to administrative activity, applying the basic law, as the German constitution. This meant to re-establish the “Gesetzesvorbehalt”, as the doctrine of legal legitimation of any intrusion in the sphere of individual rights. It also meant the expansion of individual (subjective) rights, as well as the strengthening of individual legal protection. Much later, in West Germany with the economic and social developments of the 1970s and 1980s imprinted with a certain belief in regulatory planning, it was less doctrine and more the active role of the state in relation to the market and the welfare state as well as the call for more participation, which clearly indicated that established forms of regulation are not taking effect automatically. One of the issues which exemplified this problem was the issue of knowledge, since in all administrative areas, it became more and more clear that we have to deal with more and more complex issues, of which administrations know very little. The issue of “risk” in particular, which surfaced in environmental law as well as social/welfare law and security regulations including data protection rules, indicated that the state has a “knowledge problem” to solve. Reactions differ until today: some believe in the self-commitment of the economy to replace regulation, some believe in cooperative planning and participatory rules, some develop schemes of distribution of responsibility, and some move back to simple rules.

In administrative science and administrative law studies, we try to combine perspectives of economic studies, social and political sciences, legal studies and, new to the field, of cultural studies, thus attempt to work in an interdisciplinary mode. Often, we also apply transdisciplinary perspectives, prominently developed in gender studies. This results in new schemes and approaches. We thus do work with problem-oriented regulation strategies, impact assessment or governance concepts like the „activating state“.


  • Baer, Susanne, "Der Bürger" im Verwaltungsrecht zwischen Obrigkeit und aktivierendem Staat. Habilitationsschrift, Tübingen 2005.
  • Baer, Susanne, Gender Mainstreaming - Ein Trend mit Schwierigkeiten und mit Zukunft, in: Meffert, Heribert/ Steinbrück, Peer (Hrsg.), Trendbuch NRW - Perspektiven einer Metropolregion, Gütersloh 2005, S. 351-359.
  • Baer, Susanne, Schlüsselbegriffe, Typen und Leitbilder als Erkenntnismittel und ihr Verhältnis zur Rechtsdogmatik, in: Schmidt-Aßmann, Eberhard/ Hoffmann-Riem, Wolfgang (Hg.), Methoden der Verwaltungs-rechtswissenschaft, Baden-Baden 2004, S.223-251.
  • Baer, Susanne, Der Handlungsbedarf für eine bürgerschaftliches Engagement fördernde Verwaltungsreform, in: Deutscher Bundestag (Hg.), Enquete-Kommission "Zukunft des bürgerschaftlichen Engagements", Bürgerschaftliches Engagement und Zivilgesellschaft, Opladen 2002, S. 167-183.
  • Baer, Susanne, Community Policing und Verwaltungsreform. Zu Möglichkeiten und Grenzen der Kooperation zwischen Polizei und Zivilgesellschaft am Beispiel eines Interventionsprojektes gegen häusliche Gewalt, StWissStPrax 1998, S. 593.

More on these isssues

  • Schuppert, Gunnar Folke, Staatswissenschaft, Baden-Baden 2003.
  • Schuppert, Gunnar Folke, Verwaltungswissenschaft - Verwaltung, Verwaltungsrecht, Verwaltungslehre, Baden-Baden 2000.