Is Administrative Law at War with Itself?

14 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2020

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 7, 2020


Administrative law now features two main tendencies: presidential control of administration and a demand for comprehensive rationalization of administrative decision making. Thus reason increasingly contends with politics as the basis for the legitimation of administrative action. This paper argues that both vision of administrative legitimacy appeal to democratic values, but imagine quite different visions of democratic theory. The competition between these models of administrative legitimacy can only be managed, not resolved. This is the challenge of 21st century administrative Law, but a challenge that simultaneously reveals a complexly articulated system of democratic accountability embedded in contemporary administrative practice.

Keywords: presidentialism, reasoned administration, administrative legitimacy

Suggested Citation

Mashaw, Jerry Louis, Is Administrative Law at War with Itself? (September 7, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

Jerry Louis Mashaw (Contact Author)

Yale Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States
203-432-1671 (Phone)

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