Comparative Administrative Law: An Introduction

Susan Rose-Ackerman, Peter L. Lindseth, COMPARATIVE ADMINISTRATIVE LAW, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2010

Yale Law & Economics Research Paper No. 424

39 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2011 Last revised: 4 Feb 2011

See all articles by Susan Rose-Ackerman

Susan Rose-Ackerman

Yale Law School

Peter L. Lindseth

University of Connecticut School of Law

Date Written: 2010


This book, COMPARATIVE ADMINISTRATIVE LAW, is the first in the series RESEARCH HANDBOOKS IN COMPARATIVE LAW available from Edward Elgar Publishing. Edited by Susan Rose-Ackerman (Yale) and Peter L. Lindseth (University of Connecticut), this volume represents a broad, multi-method approach to the topic of comparative administrative law, combining perspectives from the social sciences and history with more strictly legal analysis. Comparisons of the United States, continental Europe, and the British Commonwealth are complemented by contributions focusing on Latin America, Africa, and Asia. The work aims to stimulate comparative research on public law more generally, reaching across countries and scholarly disciplines. Specifically available for download here is the book’s introduction, along with the table of contents and list of contributors.

This volume attempts to capture the complexity of the field while also distilling certain key elements for comparative study. Because administrative law is intimately bound up with the development of the modern state, it begins with a set of historical reflections on its interactions with social and political change over the last two centuries. The remaining parts are broadly thematic. The first concentrates on the relationship between administrative and constitutional law - uncertain, contested, and deeply essential. The book next focuses on a key aspect of this uneasy relationship - administrative independence with its manifold implications for separation of powers, democratic self-government, and the boundary between law, politics, and policy. The next two parts highlight the tensions between impartial expertise and public accountability. They cover, first, internal processes of decision-making (including transparency, participation, political oversight, and policy or impact analysis), and, second, external legal controls on administrative decision-making (that is, ‘administrative litigation’ writ large). The final part considers how administrative law is shaping and is being shaped by the changing boundaries of the state. This part confronts two basic structural issues: the evolving boundary between public and private, and the similarly evolving boundary between the domestic and transnational regulatory orders. In considering this second question, the chapters focus on the EU, as the most evolved transnational regulatory order now operating.

Keywords: administrative law, comparative law, public law, law and social science, legal history

Suggested Citation

Rose-Ackerman, Susan and Lindseth, Peter L., Comparative Administrative Law: An Introduction (2010). Susan Rose-Ackerman, Peter L. Lindseth, COMPARATIVE ADMINISTRATIVE LAW, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2010, Yale Law & Economics Research Paper No. 424, Available at SSRN:

Susan Rose-Ackerman

Yale Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States

Peter L. Lindseth (Contact Author)

University of Connecticut School of Law ( email )

65 Elizabeth Street
Hartford, CT 06105
United States
860-570-5392 (Phone)
860-570-5242 (Fax)

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