Justi, Johann Heinrich Gottlob von

From Enlightenment and Revolution
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Justi, Johann Heinrich Gottlob von (1720-1771). German, Scholar, Public Servant, and Publicist.

Justi was a prolific writer, whose work ranged from economics, politics, history, philosophy, and aesthetics. As an economist, Justi emphasized political factors in recommending economic policy. His best-known work, Staatswirthschaft, (1755) discusses how rulers should govern to ensure a prosperous people and a "happy country." Justi is celebrated as one of the developers of 18th-century Cameralism, a systematization of contemporary public administration principles. Eighteenth-century cameralists were mercantilist in outlook, and advocated economic policies tending to strengthen the position of rulers. After studying law in Wittenberg from 1742-44, he embarked upon a career of journalism and state service. He taught economics and commerce in Vienna and Göttingen. In 1865 he was appointed Prussian Inspector of Mines, Glass and Steel Works.

Justi's Cameralism focuses on the management of the absolutist state, and is premised on the notion that economic prosperity represents the principal means to political power. Good government and public administration are instrumental to welfare and wealth. The "science of police," referring in the 18th century to the regulation of public order and societal interaction, was the subject of another major treatise, Grundsätze der Polizei-Wissenschaft (1756). As the first systematic treatment of the subject, the book was a milestone of 18th-century public administration. Justi's influence waned with the decline of Cameralism around century's end.

Further Reading:

H. W. Koch, A History of Prussia, 1978.

David M. Keithly

American Military University