Administrative Law

Daniel B. Rodriguez

in The Oxford Handbook of Law and Politics

Published in print August 2008 | ISBN: 9780199208425
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Political Science

 Administrative Law

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The central objective of administrative law is to reconcile two major aims: the successful exercise of regulatory power by the bureaucracy and the tethering of administrative agencies to the rule of law. The first goal is concerned fundamentally with regulatory governance; the second is concerned with legality. Administrative regulation through specialized agencies is a ubiquitous and rather permanent characteristic of modern policy making. These agencies wield enormous power and, although their respective architectures are arguably in tension with our bedrock constitutional principles of separation of powers and representative democracy, the administrative state seems rather entrenched. This article deals with administrative law and describes the leading effort to tie together the law and politics of administration through the use of positive political theory. It also discusses the dilemmas of regulatory administration and, therefore, of administrative law: delegation, discretion, fairness, and regulatory unreasonableness.

Keywords: administrative law; governance; legality; politics; political theory; regulatory administration; delegation; discretion; fairness; regulatory unreasonableness

Article.  8944 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Politics and Law

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