Political Executive Control of the Administrative State: How Much Is Too Much?

19 Pages Posted: 23 Jun 2021 Last revised: 10 Jan 2022

See all articles by Conor Casey

Conor Casey

University of Liverpool School of Law & Social Justice

Date Written: June 14, 2021

Abstract

In many constitutional systems, political executives increasingly enjoy the balance of control and power over the capacity of the administrative state apparatus, through deploying an array of legal and political tools to centralize and politicize its work, to better align it with their ideology and political objectives. This article critically analyzes this trend through a comparative and theoretical public law lens. I have two objectives, one explanatory, the other critical. I first offer a descriptive account of the diverse tools’ political executives – presidents, prime ministers, cabinets etc. - deploy to facilitate greater control over bureaucracies. I also probe the possible incentives which seem to be driving their use and the desire for greater control. After offering this account, I switch gears to the critical, by offering a normative analysis of executive attempts to leverage greater control over the administrative state.

Keywords: Administrative state; executive power; bureaucracy; comparative constitutional law

Suggested Citation

Casey, Conor, Political Executive Control of the Administrative State: How Much Is Too Much? (June 14, 2021). Maryland Law Review, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3866489

Conor Casey (Contact Author)

University of Liverpool School of Law & Social Justice ( email )

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