Political Theory

Retrieving the Administrative State: Formalism, Expertise and Democracy in a Time of Crisis

Katharine Jackson University of Virginia

Abstract

This paper defends the constitutional democratic credentials of the administrative state against (1) libertarian attacks that accuse it of violating the rule of law and the separation of powers; and (2) left-wing attacks that charge it with authoritarian technocracy. It argues that these attacks are founded on a wrong-headed understanding of popular sovereignty and natural rights. It then makes a positive case for administration by incorporating the lessons of political theory's representative turn.

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