Volume 16 (2010)

Volume 16 (2010) / Issue 1

Wolfgang Kahl, 'What Is ‘New’ about the ‘New Administrative Law Science’ in Germany?' (2010) 16 European Public Law, Issue 1, pp. 105–121


Administrative law in Germany is traditionally influenced by the ‘juristic method’ (juristische Methode). This method is shaped by the concept of a systemic legal order and by the distinction between legislation (legal politics) and law application (legal dogmatics). It concentrates on the legal protection perspective and the ‘legal act’ (Rechtsakt) standing for the formal, binding, and intervening decision of an authority. However, since the early 1990s of the last century, a large group of more progressive German scholars is working on a reform concept in order to substitute the one-sided approach of the juristic method by a new approach denoted as the ‘new administrative law science’ (Neue Verwaltungsrechtswissenschaft). The new administrative law science is based on a more open, interdisciplinary method and a steering approach (Steuerungswissenschaft) focusing on decision making and on results (‘products’). The following article comprises the most significant assumptions and ideas of this new scientific stream and provides a differentiated evaluation.

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ISSN: 1354-3725
ID: EURO2010006