Jellinek, Georg

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Jellinek, Georg


Born June 16, 1851, in Leipzig; died Jan. 1, 1911, in Heidelberg. German bourgeois political scientist and representative of the school of juridical positivism. Professor at the universities of Vienna (from 1883), Basel (1889), and Heidelberg (from 1891).

According to Jellinek, the state must be studied both as a special social formation and as a legal entity. Thus his doctrine comprises social and legal teachings, each having its own method. In practice, Jellinek’s method was primarily formal and dogmatic. He defined the state as a unity of individuals having a special purpose and endowed with the qualities of a legal subject; it possesses a will and embodies rights. This definition does not reveal the social essence of the bourgeois state. Jellinek advanced the liberal bourgeois concept that the state limits its power by the promulgation of norms—a progressive idea under the German monarchical system. The idea of the self-limitation of state power was further developed by Jellinek in his definition of sovereignty. He exerted a certain influence on 20th-century Russian juris-prudence.


System der subjektiven öffentlichen Rechte. Berlin, 1892.
Allgemeine Staatslehre. Berlin, 1900. In Russian translation, Obshchee uchenie o gosudarstve. St. Petersburg, 1903.
Ausgewählte Schriften und Reden, vols. 1–2. Berlin, 1911.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.