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Administration without Sovereignty

The Twilight of Constitutional Law, Forthcoming

U Iowa Legal Studies Research Paper No. 09-04

27 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2009  

Alexander Somek

University of Iowa - College of Law

Date Written: January 26, 2009


The article offers both a sympathetic and a skeptical perspective on the global administrative law project. While the author agrees with the project's major premise that processes of global governance are to be described in administrative terms he also expresses doubts as to whether these processes are susceptible to the discipline of legality. The article speculates if what has been described hitherto as a move beyond the state might not be better understood, in fact, as the unfettering of statal administrative rationality from legal bounds. In particular, facile attempts to submit administrative processes to some discursively fluid form of legal constraint are likely to fall prey to what the law is supposed to control and thus to obscure social reality owing to the influence of normative idealisations.

Keywords: global administrative law, biopolitics, rule of law, sovereignty, legality

JEL Classification: Z00

Suggested Citation

Somek, Alexander, Administration without Sovereignty (January 26, 2009). U Iowa Legal Studies Research Paper No. 09-04; U Iowa Legal Studies Research Paper No. 09-04. Available at SSRN:

Alexander Somek (Contact Author)

University of Iowa - College of Law ( email )

Melrose and Byington
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States

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