Skip to main content
  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2021

Public Administration in Germany

Palgrave Macmillan
  • Examines the present situation of Public Administration in Germany

  • Explains the main characteristics and features of decentralized Public Administration

  • Analyses the recent challenges and reforms of the German Public Administration landscape

Part of the book series: Governance and Public Management (GPM)

Buying options

Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-53696-1
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Free shipping worldwide
    See shipping information.
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout

Table of contents (22 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xxiv
  2. German Public Administration: Background and Key Issues

    • Sabine Kuhlmann, Isabella Proeller, Dieter Schimanke, Jan Ziekow
    Pages 1-13Open Access
  3. German Public Administration in the Multilevel System

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 15-15
    2. Constitutional State and Public Administration

      • Karl-Peter Sommermann
      Pages 17-33Open Access
    3. Administrative Federalism

      • Nathalie Behnke, Sabine Kropp
      Pages 35-51Open Access
    4. Europeanisation and German Public Administration

      • Hans Hofmann
      Pages 53-60Open Access
    5. Federal Administration

      • Julia Fleischer
      Pages 61-79Open Access
    6. The Federal Administration of Interior Affairs

      • Hans-Heinrich von Knobloch
      Pages 81-90Open Access
    7. The Administration of the Länder

      • Ludger Schrapper
      Pages 105-121Open Access
    8. Local Self-Government and Administration

      • Kay Ruge, Klaus Ritgen
      Pages 123-141Open Access
  4. Politics, Procedures and Resources

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 143-143
    2. Politics and Administration in Germany

      • Werner Jann, Sylvia Veit
      Pages 145-161Open Access
    3. Administrative Procedures and Processes

      • Jan Ziekow
      Pages 163-183Open Access
    4. Civil Service and Public Employment

      • Christoph Reichard, Eckhard Schröter
      Pages 205-223Open Access
    5. Public Finance

      • Gisela Färber
      Pages 225-250Open Access
  5. Redrawing Structures, Boundaries and Service Delivery

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 251-251
    2. Administrative Reforms in the Multilevel System: Reshuffling Tasks and Territories

      • Sabine Kuhlmann, Jörg Bogumil
      Pages 271-289Open Access

About this book

This open access book presents a topical, comprehensive and differentiated analysis of Germany’s public administration and reforms. It provides an overview on key elements of German public administration at the federal, Länder and local levels of government as well as on current reform activities of the public sector. It examines the key institutional features of German public administration; the changing relationships between public administration, society and the private sector; the administrative reforms at different levels of the federal system and numerous sectors; and new challenges and modernization approaches like digitalization, Open Government and Better Regulation. Each chapter offers a combination of descriptive information and problem-oriented analysis, presenting key topical issues in Germany which are relevant to an international readership.


  • Open Access
  • public administration
  • German public administration
  • federal administration
  • social security
  • Administrative federalism
  • institutions
  • reforms
  • governance
  • German administrative system
  • decentralisation
  • self-government
  • multilevel governance
  • Federal Constitutional Court
  • the German Constitution
  • the German federal architecture
  • European Union (EU)
  • the Basic Law
  • the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI)
  • the Länder


“Public Administration in the Western sphere, and beyond, wouldn’t be what it is without the German legal tradition of the ‘Rechtsstaat’, or Max Weber’s ‘bureaucracy’. This book shows not only the foundations of the German system. It also explains, comprehensively and convincingly, how the German ‘model’ is transforming and adjusting to current and future challenges, while keeping solid principles of rule of law, democracy, and welfare state. Therefore, this book is a lighthouse for all those studying PA and reforming systems.”

Geert Bouckaert, Professor, Public Governance Institute, KU Leuven, Belgium, and Past-President of the International Institute of Public Administration (IIAS)

“Everything you always wanted to know about public administration in the country which fathered modern bureaucracy! This book is the indispensable reading for those students, scholars and practitioners who seek to understand the fascinating administrative engine under the hood of the political, social and economic success of contemporary Germany.”

Jean-Michel Eymeri-Douzans, Professor, University Science Po Toulouse, France. President of the European Group of Public Administration (EGPA)

“This book is an awesome attempt, covering such significant issues as the historical underpinnings, inter-governmental relationships and other pragmatic policy problems that Germany is currently facing. We ought to congratulate German academics for their successful compilation of this outstanding volume.”

Akira Nakamura, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, School of Political Science and Economics, Meiji University, Tokyo, Japan, and Past-President of the Asian Association for Public Administration (AAPA)

“Our global understanding of public administration begins one country at a time. I am therefore pleased to welcome publication of this book. It is an authoritative resource for anyone seeking to understand German systems, particularly ‘outsiders’ like me. This book will be the standard reference for German administrative systems for decades.”

James L. Perry, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Paul H. O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University, Bloomington, USA

Editors and Affiliations

  • University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany

    Sabine Kuhlmann, Isabella Proeller

  • Ministry of Labour, Women, Health, Social Affairs of the German Land Saxony-Anhalt, Magdeburg, Germany

    Dieter Schimanke

  • German Research Institute for Public Administration, Speyer, Germany

    Jan Ziekow

About the editors

Sabine Kuhlmann is Professor of Political Science, Public Administration and Organization at Potsdam University, Germany, Vice President of the IIAS for Western Europe, and Vice-Chair of the National Regulatory Control Council of the German Federal Government. Her areas of research include comparative public administration, public sector reforms, better regulation and local government.   

Isabella Proeller is Professor for Public and Nonprofit Management at the University of Potsdam, Germany. Her areas of research comprise public management reforms, strategic management and performance-oriented control in public administration.

Dieter Schimanke is former Professor of Public Administration at the Helmut-Schmidt-University in Hamburg, Germany. He became Secretary of State in a state in East Germany after unification and since his retirement, he is Senior Expert in projects of GIZ on reforms of Public Administration (mainly in Eastern Europe and Asia).

Jan Ziekow is Professor of Public Law and the Director of the German Research Institute for Public Administration, Germany, Vice-President and former President of the German Section of IIAS. He is a former Member of the UN Committee of Experts on Public Administration, and member of various Government and Parliamentary Commissions and Committees.

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-53696-1
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Free shipping worldwide
    See shipping information.
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout