RS 29

part iii • contemporary legal history • mats kumlien of the legislation, resulted in an extensive practice that was more in line with traditional opinion (which says that coercive measures are benefits) than it responded to the demand for legality.6 Contrary to what legal historians still insist, it was neither liberal nor a Rechtsstaat. Discipline has been an important part of the modern welfare state, and it succeeded thanks to the fact that administrative law in all essential respects became a means of power, often supported by loyal legal scholars. What do we want by teaching and investigating legal history? Is it to emphasize continuity with an idealized past? Or discontinuity with an unideal past? Is it to promote a healthy European future, a new ius commune? Convergence and development are ambiguous terms. Do legal historians use them descriptively or normatively? Is it even possible to make such a distinction in a postmodern era? Let me switch perspective. Michael Stolleis has observed how administrative law had its formative period in the early twentieth century, and thus was late on the academic scene, at least as a distinct discipline with an articulated self-understanding.7 He notes there was a basic European pattern with common structural and sweeping traits: not only the ‘abstract’ state but furthermore the ‘working’ state called for attention, which influenced two legal disciplines, constitutional law (Staatsrecht), and administrative law. Several other legal historians have connected the emergence of administrative law to demands from an influential middle 6 Mats Kumlien, Uppfostran och straff: Studier kring 1902 års lagstiftning om reaktioner mot ungdomsbrott (Rättshistoriskt bibliotek, 56; Lund: Institutet för Rättshistorisk Forskning, 1997); Gunnar Bramstång, Förutsättningar för barnavårdsnämnds ingripande mot asocial ungdom: En studie i socialförvaltningsrättens legalitetsproblem(Lund: Gleerup, 1964). 7 For the history of German public law, see Michael Stolleis, Geschichte des öffentlichen Rechts in Deutschland, i: Reichspublizistik und Policeywissenschaft, 1600–1800(Munich: Beck, 1988); id., ‘Die Entstehung des Interventionsstaates und das öffentliche Recht’, Zeitschrift für neuere Rechtsgeschichte 11 (1989), 129–47; id., Geschichte des öffentlichen Rechts in Deutschland, ii: Staatsrechtslehre und Verwaltungswissenschaft, 1800–1914(Munich: Beck, 1992); id., Recht im Unrecht: Studien zur Rechtsgeschichte des Nationalsozialismus (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1994); id., Geschichte des öffentlichen Rechts in Deutschland, iii: Staats- und Verwaltungsrechtswissenschaft in Republik und Diktatur, 1914–1945 (Munich: Beck, 1999); Stolleis 2004. 180 In search of the ‘general part’