Information in English


Hans Herbert von Arnim, Univ.-Prof. Dr. iur., Dipl.-Volkswirt, born 1939 in Darmstadt, Germany.

Former Professor of Public Law, esp. Municipal and Budget Law, and Constitutional Theory at the Post Graduate School of Administrative Sciences Speyer.

Studies of Law and Economics, Master Degrees in Law and Economics and Doctorate in Law at the University of Heidelberg.

 Director of the Karl-Bräuer-Institut. This institut is affiliated with the German Taxpayers Association (500.000 members) in Wiesbaden.
1976  Habilitation in Constitutional and Administrative Law, Financial and Tax Law, University of Regensburg.
1978-1981 Professor at the University of Marburg.
 Chair for Public Law, esp. Municipal and Budget Law, and Constitutional Theory at the Postgraduate School of Administrative Scienes Speyer.
 Call for the chair of Constitutional Law and Politics to the University of Göttingen (former chair of Professor Leibholz, the "founder" of the Federal Constitutional Court).
1993-1996  Member of the Brandenburg State Constitutional Court.
 President of the Postgraduate School of Administrative Sciences Speyer.
 Visiting Professor at the Medical University of Lübeck.
April 1, 2004
 Emeritus status
  further on Member of the Research Institute for Public Administration and Head of Section I - Modernizing Government and Administration

Member of several Commissions of Experts, for example the "Enquête-Commission of Election Law and Municipal Constitution" of the Parliament of the State of Palatinate (1988-1990); of the Commission of Independent Experts on Party Financing (1992/93), appointed by the Federal President Richard von Weizsäcker; of the Commission on the Salaries and the Pension Schemes of the Members of Government of the German Länder, appointed by the Prime Ministers of Bavaria and of Nordrhine-Westfalia (1999-2000).

Research Activities:

  • Constitutional and Democracy Theories
  • Financial Law
  • Party and Political Financing
  • Municipal Law and Municipal Politics

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The Forfeiture of Corporate Pension Entitlements. Published by Recht and Wirtschaft, Heidelberg 1970
(Die Verfallbarkeit betrieblicher Ruhegeldanwartschaften) (ISBN 3-8005-6167-0 )
This book is the doctoral dissertation of the author. It shows that the then common unfettered practice of forfeiture of corporate pension entitlements, when an employee leaves his employment before reaching the legal retirement age, is against the law. The question affected 60% of the Federal Republic of Germany's labour force. In 1972 the Federal Industrial Tribunal, and then in 1975 the legislature, accepted the new interpretation.

The Remuneration of Parliamentary Representatives and the Basic Law. A constitutional opinion on the financial privileges of Federal and State representatives. Volume 32 of the publications of the Karl-Bräuer-Institute of the German Taxpayers Federation, Wiesbaden 1975
(Abgeordnetenentschädigung und Grundgesetz. Ein verfassunsrechtliches Gutachten über die finanziellen Privilegien der Abgeordneten in Bund und Ländern)

This opinion expressed the view that the then existing privileges claimed by parliamentarians as to taxation exemptions, payments to them by lobbyists, and civil servant status benefits were unconstitutional. The German Taxpayers Federation presented the manuscript, prior to its publication, to the Federal Constitutional Court which adopted this view in its decision of November 5, 1975 (BVerfGE 40, 296).

The Common Good and Group Interests. Published by Metzner, Frankfurt/M 1977
(Gemeinwohl und Gruppeninteressen) (ISBN 3-7875-5258-8)
This thesis demonstrates that general interests tend to succumb to well organised special interests in a pluralistic democracy. It discusses the consequences for political theory and constitutional law.

Party Financing. A Constitutional Study. Volume 52 of the Publications by the Karl-Bräuer-Institute of the German Taxpayers Federation, Wiesbaden 1982
(Parteienfinanzierung. Eine verfassungsrechtliche Untersuchung)

This booklet (and a number of essays and articles in professional periodicals and newspapers) analyses problems of financing of political parties, including party foundations and parliamentary parties. The judgement handed down by the Federal Constitutional Court, dated April 9, 1992 (BVerfGE 85, 264), accepted many of the criticisms raised in this publication.

State Theory of the Federal Republic of Germany. Published by Vahlen, Munich 1984
(Staatslehre der Bundesrepublik Deutschland) (ISBN 3-8006-1024-8)

This book describes the historical development of a modern state such as the Federal Republic of Germany and provides the basis for the theoretical analysis of it.

Power Makes One Inventive. Published in paperback by Fromm, Zurich/Osnabrück 1988
(Macht macht erfinderisch) (ISBN3-7201-5214-6)

This paperback is based on the author's earlier manuscript which made public the "Hesse Attendance Allowance Case" (where parliamentary representatives granted themselves financial privileges.) It induced the State Parliament to withdraw the self-serving excessive regulations. The president and vice-president resigned.

Possibilities of Direct Democracy at the Local Level. Published in Jörn Ipsen (ed.), Continuity or Reform. An Analysis of Local Authority Constitutions, 1990, pages 57-86: Also published in Die Öffentliche Verwaltung 1990, pages 85-97.
(Möglichkeiten unmittelbarer Demokratie auf Gemeindeebene)

This article is supplemented by several of the author's later papers. It underlines the special qualities of the Constitution of Local Authorities in the State of Baden-Württemberg. These have three structural characteristics: the direct election of mayors, flexible election lists for the Local Councils with cumulative votes for candidates, and the possibility of citizen initiatives and decisions. The article recommends the adoption of this model by other States. This publication directly influenced the contemporaneous reform of the Constitution of Local Authorities in the State of Schleswig-Holstein. In the meantime, most of the model's characteristics, especially the direct election of mayors, have been introduced, in some cases with modifications, in all other States.

The State as Spoils. Published in paperback by Knaur, Munich 1993
(Der Staat als Beute) (ISBN 3-426-80014-4)

This paperback shows how the "political class" granted itself financial privileges and immunities and how parliaments, for example, in Hesse, Hamburg and the Saarland, had to rescind several laws in response to developing public criticism as the results of the author's research became known. The book was for some time on the paperback bestseller list.

State without Servants. Published by Kindler, Munich 1993, and in paperback by Knaur, Munich 1995
(Staat ohne Diener) (ISBN 3-426-80062-4)

This book describes the problems of a modern democracy such as the Federal Republic of Germany. For some time it was on the bestseller list. The later paperback edition includes an epilogue which deals whith subsequent developments and the critics of the book.

Democracy without People. Published in paperback by Knaur, Munich 1993
(Demokratie ohne Volk) (ISBN 3-426-80021-7)

This paperback is a collection of the author's eighteen topically related articles and papers, which were originally published individually in newspapers and professional journals, some of which are not readily accessible.

The Party, the Representative and Money. Published in paperback by Knaur, Munich 1996
(Die Partei, der Abgeordnete und das Geld) (ISBN 3-426-80074-8)

This paperback is a standard work on political financing. It was first published in 1991 and completely revised in 1996. It analyses the entire financing of political parties, party foundations, parliamentary parties and representatives. This financing, especially in Germany, has run out of control. Recommendations are made for substantive and procedural reforms.

"We are the State!" Published in paperback by Knaur, Munich 1995
("Der Staat sind wir!") (ISBN 3-426-80079-9)

The New Federal Representatives' Law. Content, Procedure, Criticism and Public Deception. Research report Nr. 169, Speyer 1997
(Das neue Abgeordnetengesetz. Inhalt, Verfahren, Kritik und Irreführung der Öffentlichkeit)

The paperback revealed to the public the true content of the camouflaged proposed amendment to the remuneration article of the Federal Constitution and resulted in a nationwide discussion in late 1995. It caused 86 professors of constitutional law to appeal to the Federal Council (Bundesrat) of the Federal Parliament, which ultimately rejected the amendment.

The research report traces the legal procedure and outlines the content of the bill.

The Glutton as Caterer. The political class - self-serving and remote from the people. Published by Kindler, Munich 1997, and as paperback edition by Knaur, Munich 1999 (Fetter Bauch regiert nicht gern. Die politische Klasse - selbstbezogen und abgehoben) (ISBN 3-426-77385-6)

This book develops a theory of the Party-State and shows that the self-interests of the "political class" in relation to power, position, and money have paralysed their capacity to govern; fundamental changes in the political institutions are required. This could be achieved by public and individual initiatives. The book was on the bestseller list from January to October 1998. The later paperback edition includes a foreword which deals with subsequent developments and critics of the book.

Servants of Many Masters. The double and triple benefits of politicians. Published by Knaur, Munich 1998
(Diener vieler Herren. Die Doppel- und Dreifachversorgung von Politikern) (ISBN 3-426-77372-4)

This paperback points out the excessive remuneration of politicians, especially the multiple payments and superannuation systems. The book has since its publication led to certain reforms in Bavaria and North-Rhine Westphalia. In addition, the prime ministers of both states have appointed a commission (including the author) which will give its opinion in 2000.

Principles of Economic Policy. Published by Luchterhand, Frankfurt/Main, 6th edition, 1998
(Volkswirtschaftspolitik) (ISBN 3-472-00063-5)

This book examines the economic problems of the Federal Republic of Germany from the combined perspectives of economics, law, and politics.

The Glitter of Democracy: Politics without Accountability - Ignoring the People, Droemer Publishing House, Munich 2000 (ISBN 3-426-27204-0)

This book deals with the disintegration of accountability in German federalism and the possibilities for direct decision-making at local state, federal, and EU levels. It provides an extension and elaboration of the arguments made in the book, The Glutton as Caterer (Fetter Bauch regiert nicht gern). The German system of executive federalism, which dates back to Bismarck, is unique; it results in the disempowerment of both parliament and people and leads to political paralysis. There is no continuous public outcry and protest solely because the complicated procedures are so abstruse. The author proposes that the solution can be found in mobilizing public awareness and establishing requisite institutions. This implies the reform of the electoral laws and the development of initiative and referendum.

Speyer, June 2000

New Publications:


The European Party Financing Regulation (Cover)

Hans Herbert von Arnim, Martin Schurig
The European Party Financing Regulation
2004, 136 p., 9.90 EUR, br., ISBN 3-8258-8097-4 

von Arnim, Self-Service in Brussels, in: Focus no. 40/2007, October 1st, 2007, p. 34 (working translation).

von Arnim/Schurig, Remuneration and Financial Provision for Members of the Civil Service and the Forms of Political Finance in the European Union. An Account of the Origin and Impact of a Research Project, Discussion Paper Nr. 18 of the Research Institute for Public Administration (FÖV) at the German University of Administrative Sciences Speyer, February 2005, 21 pages

von Arnim, Party Time in Brussels, in: Wall Street Journal Europe, 3.2.2005, p. 9

von Arnim, "Fraudulent and unacceptable?" The uncontrolled growth in allowances in the European Parliament, in: European Law Review, October 2004, p. 698-710

Lisbeth Kirk (Interview), European political life at risk of fossilization, in: EUobserver (, 12.11.2004

Summary of the book: von Arnim, "9053 Euro Gehalt für Europaabgeordnete?", April 2004

von Arnim/Schurig, A salary of 9,053 Euros for Members of the European Parliament? An analysis of the Statute for Members of the European Parliament, FÖV Discussion Paper Nr. 7, Speyer, January 2004

von Arnim, Institutionalized Political Unaccountability and Political Corruption in Germany, in: Eberhard Bohne/Charles F. Bonser/ Kenneth M. Spencer, Transatlantic Perspectives on Liberalization and Democratic Governance, Münster 2004

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Hans Herbert von Arnim
- Emeritus

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Deutsche Universität für Verwaltungswissenschaften Speyer

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