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Reasoned Administration and Democratic Legitimacy
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Book description

Reasoned Administration and Democratic Legitimacy: How Administrative Law Supports Democratic Government explores the fundamental bases for the legitimacy of the modern administrative state. While some have argued that modern administrative states are a threat to liberty and at war with democratic governance, Jerry L. Mashaw demonstrates that in fact reasoned administration is more respectful of rights and equal citizenship and truer to democratic values than lawmaking by either courts or legislatures. His account features the law's demand for reason giving and reasonableness as the crucial criterion for the legality of administrative action. In an argument combining history, sociology, political theory and law, this book demonstrates how administrative law's demand for reasoned administration structures administrative decision-making, empowers actors within and outside the government, and supports a complex vision of democratic self-rule.


‘Reacting to the increasing tide of assaults on administrative law's legitimacy, Professor Mashaw, this generation's most distinguished scholar of the subject, finds in the centrality of required reason-giving a compelling response. Like its predecessors in analysis, wisdom and insight, this is a book to treasure.'

Peter L. Strauss - Betts Professor of Law Emeritus, Columbia Law School, New York

‘A masterpiece, defending a bold claim: reason-giving lies at the heart of the legitimisation of public power. Mashaw has provided the authoritative treatment of what may be the most important issue of our age.'

Cass R. Sunstein - Robert Walmsley University Professor, Harvard University, Massachusetts

‘With Reasoned Administration and Democratic Legitimacy, Jerry L. Mashaw demonstrates again why he's one of the most accomplished and influential public law scholars in the world. By carefully exploring the vital and often misunderstood connection between American democracy and the administrative state, Mashaw makes lasting contributions to our understanding of both, at a moment in history when we especially need that.'

Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar - Former Stanley Morrison Professor of Law, Stanford Law School, California

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