Global Environmental Governance as Administration

Benedict Kingsbury

in The Oxford Handbook of International Environmental Law

Published in print August 2008 | ISBN: 9780199552153
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Law

Global Environmental Governance as Administration

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  • International Law
  • Environment and Energy Law
  • Constitutional and Administrative Law



This article argues for the analysis of global and transnational environmental governance as administration to shed light on some important but neglected themes in international environmental law scholarship. First, it outlines several basic administrative concepts that call for analysis under such an approach (delegation, accountability, deliberation and reason giving, dynamic effects, general versus specific norms), then sets forth an analytical framework of five structures of administration in global governance, namely: distributed administration, international administration, inter-governmental network administration, hybrid administration, and private administration. Normative appraisal in administrative law is often conducted by reference to basic public law values, such as legality, proportionality, rationality, accuracy, effectiveness, efficiency, and respect for basic rights. Political theory inquiries into democracy and legitimacy in global governance may be given more applied purchase by distilling normative values and implicit trade offs, embodied in such legal-administrative components as transparency, notification, participation, reason giving, and review. Inflections in the design and operation of different administrative systems may have impacts on distributive outcomes, procedural fairness, and other elements of justice.

Keywords: environmental governance; administration; international environmental law; delegation; accountability; distributed administration; international administration; inter-governmental administration; hybrid administration; private administration

Article.  9321 words. 

Subjects: Law ; International Law ; Environment and Energy Law ; Constitutional and Administrative Law

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