Ingeborg Maus

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Ingeborg Maus (born October 12, 1937 in Wiesbaden ) is professor emeritus for political theory and the history of ideas at the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main .


Ingeborg Maus was born on October 12, 1937 in Wiesbaden as the daughter of the railway official Heinrich Maus and his wife Emma, ​​née. Leibl, born. In 1954, Maus entered the lower secondary school of the Elly-Heuss-Realgymnasium in Wiesbaden, where she graduated from high school in 1958.

From 1958 to 1964 Maus studied political science, German literature and philosophy at the University of Frankfurt am Main and at the Free University of Berlin with a focus on the history of political ideas , constitutional theory and constitutional history . During her philosophy studies, which she continued up to the Rigorosum exam , she dealt with Kant and Hegel . In 1964 she passed the state examination for higher teaching qualifications in the subjects of political science and German studies in Frankfurt.

Maus' dissertation at the chair of the Institute for Political Science at the University of Frankfurt am Main was initially supervised by Carlo Schmid , later by Christian Graf von Krockow . In 1971 she completed her doctorate with the grades "valde laudabile" (written) and "summa cum laude" (oral).

From 1963 to 1966 Maus worked, initially without a degree, as a research assistant at the Institute for Political Science at the University of Frankfurt am Main. Then she was there until 1970 with the administration of a scientific assistant position. From 1971 to 1977 Maus worked as a research assistant and lecturer in the Faculty of Social Sciences. In 1977 she was appointed lecturer and in 1980 professor as a temporary civil servant.

In 1980 she completed her habilitation in the field of »Political Science with a focus on constitutional theory and legal sociology«. Work that has already been published was accepted as a written habilitation; Reviewers were Professors Erhard Denninger , Iring Fetscher and Kurt L. Shell .

From 1987 to 1991 Maus worked in the legal theory working group headed by Jürgen Habermas .

Ingeborg Maus has been retired since April 2003, but continues to be. a. active as co-editor of the political-scientific monthly magazine Blätter for German and international politics .


Maus is considered to be a representative of a proceduralist theory of democracy : In view of the indefinite content of freedom and equality, their concretization can only be achieved in the democratic legislative process by all the assembled human rights subjects. There is a mutual interdependence between human rights and popular sovereignty : " The rights of freedom only become inviolable when the powerless rather than the powerful decide how they use their freedom. "

Maus criticizes the increasing deformalization of positive law , as it was made possible in Carl Schmitt's legal conception, among other things, through a distinction between the constitution and the constitutional law.

From the work of Immanuel Kant , Maus developed an ambitious conception of popular sovereignty , from which she criticized legal invocations of a positive right of resistance as a " refeudalizing " form of decay. Maus converts the arguments against a world state mobilized by Kant in Eternal Peace into a conception of the autonomy of democratic learning processes, against which military interventions, even if they are legitimized for moral and humanitarian reasons, regularly violate.

Fonts (selection)


  • Hauke ​​Brunkhorst, Peter Niesen: The law of the republic. Ingeborg Maus on her 60th birthday . Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1999, ISBN 3-518-28992-6 .
  • Peter Niesen: 75th birthday: Ingeborg Maus . In: Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt am Main (Ed.): UniReport . tape 46 , no. 1 . Frankfurt am Main February 8, 2013, p. 22 ( [PDF]).

Web links


  1. Maus, Ingeborg: Natural Law, Human Right and Political Justice . The commentary (PDF; 38 kB), in: Dialektik. Encyclopedia of Philosophy and Science , 1994/1, pp. 9-18
  2. ^ Maus, Ingeborg: Bürgerliche Rechtsstheorie und Faschismus. On the social function and current effect of Carl Schmitt's theory . 2nd edition, Munich: Fink, 1980
  3. Maus, Ingeborg: For the clarification of the democratic theory. Legal and democratic theoretical considerations following Kant . Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, ​​1992
  4. Maus, Ingeborg: Popular sovereignty and the principle of non-intervention in Immanuel Kant's philosophy of peace , in: Hauke ​​Brunkhorst (ed.), Interference desired? Human rights and armed intervention. Frankfurt am Main: Fischer 1998, pp. 88–116