University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

United States. Office of the US High Commissioner for Germany / A program to foster citizen participation in government and politics in Germany

10. Institute of public affairs,   pp. 25-27 PDF (1.8 MB)

Page 26

(2) the encouragement and organization of re-
(3) to bring together German leaders and ad-
ministrators, representatives of the German
public, and leaders and administrators of
other countries; and
(4) to serve as a research and information center
to service specialized operating organizations
in the various fields.
An Institute of Public Affairs has already been
established in Frankfurt. Its membership consists
of nine member associations, and there has recently
been established an advisory board (the Kura-
torium) of forty-seven German leaders in the field
of public affairs. The programs of the Institute are
guided by a Directorium of three, with the as-
sistance of an executive secretary.
Four of the nine member associations are Ger-
man organizations of municipal officials; the other
five are organizations of professional governmental
officials - housing and city planning, public
health, homestead development, public welfare,
and governmental statistics. In addition there are
four associate members - refugee affairs, person-
nel, police, and municipal statistics. To a large ex-
tent each association is interested in its own field
and in some cases at least is not highly sym-
pathetic with the general goals and activities of the
In spite of the diverse viewpoints within the In-
stitute, a considerable amount of work towards the
accomplishment of the objectives (see B above) has
been accomplished. The Institute has sponsored a
number of important conferences based on sub-
stantial preparatory research. In these they have
brought together representatives of federal, state,
and local officials, civil leaders, functional experts,
representatives of professional associations, citizens'
organizations, trade unions, special interest groups
and universities.
The conferences have dealt with such subjects
as: The Organization of the Federal Ministries; The
Concurrent Competency of the Federal Legislature;
Training for the Public Service; The Expellee Prob-
lem; Maternal and Child Welfare; Modern Meth-
ods of Psychiatry and Social Work; Problems of
Public and Private Housing; The Public Health
Aspects of Public Housing; The Importance of
Cancer as a Threat to Public Health; The Relation-
ships between the Administration and the Press;
The Functions of the Intermediate Level of State
Administration (the so-called Mittelinstanz).
The Institute has issued a number of publica-
tions, among them the results of the conferences
listed above, and in addition, has begun a series
of popular pamphlets dealing with such subjects as:
An Introduction to the Federal Constitution; The
Merits and Demerits of the Majority System of
Voting; The Authoritarian and Democratic Concept
of State; The Marshall Plan; Political Science in
German Universities; Facts and Figures on the
Expellee Problem; The Situation of Expellees in a
Typical Rural Community; A Bibliography on the
Expellee Problem; An Introduction into the Case-
work Method of Social Work in the U.S.; A De-
scription of the Basic Features of the U.S. Con-
stitution; A Study on Existing Procedures for the
Issuance of Residence Permits by Local Govern-
ment Authorities.
The first two volumes in the so-called "Scientific
Series" have been published: (1) An Interpretation
of the Federal Constitution With Respect to the
Concurrent Competency of the Federal Legislature
(conference report); (2) Casework in USA - a
Textbook for Social Workers by Dr. Hertha Kraus.
Research undertaken by or on behalf of the In-
stitute centered around the topics of conferences
and publications listed above.
Lectures held by German or foreign experts
which were sponsored by the Institute dealt with
such subjects as "The Decentralization of Municipal
Administration"; "The Expellee Problem"; "So-
ciological Problems of Bureaucracy"; "The Present
Status of Applied Psychology in Germany"; Prob-
lems of City Planning in the U.S."; "The Reor-
ganization of the German States"; "The Concept
and Methods of Political Science"; "Political Free-
dom in the U.S."; "The Organization and Functions
of the Public Administration Clearing House in
The Institute reference library has been built up
to 5,000 volumes and, although primarily destined
for use by the staff of the Institute and its member
associations, was able during the second half of
1949 to serve a considerable number of persons who
used its facilities for study and research.
(1) General
Heretofore representatives of HICOG have
participated actively in the work of the Institute.
In order that this may become a purely German
institution, it is intended that such active partici-
pation by HICOG shall cease. It is hoped that the
Kuratorium, representing a cross-section of in-
formed German interests in public affairs, will take
a very active part and that the program of the In-
stitute will be worked out on a broad long-term
basis so that it covers all the urgent problems
which confront German government and those
whose solution involves objective study and re-
search of a high level. These problems would cover
the fields of interest of the federal, state, and local
governments. With such a program the Institute
could offer itself as a true center for the exchange
of information and experience between German
leaders and administrators, would serve to attract
international interests in exchange of views, and
would be so constituted that German officials and
a broad representation of the public might be
brought together for discussions and cooperative
In addition, it is evident that the scope of the
suggested Institute program is so broad that it
could not itself undertake to implement its re-
search and recommendations in all of the various
fields. It appears necessary to let specialized or-
ganizations perform this task, e. g. the Personnel
Society in respect to civil service reform, and the
various Civil Liberties Unions in respect not only
to individual cases but to indicated statutory and
constitutional changes. On the other hand, these
individual groups frequently lack the resources for
research and publication, and where there are many
organizations working in the same field, it would
be wasteful if they duplicated each other's work.
The Institute ought to serve as a focal point to
identify problems, conduct research, prepare pub-
lications, hold initial exploratory meetings, and
thereby service the operating organizations in the

Go up to Top of Page