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date: 14 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the administrative state in relation to modern constitutional theory. To explain the administrative state, it draws on three frameworks that are grounded in constitutional law, democratic theory, and institutional epistemology, respectively. The first framework involves the constitutionality of the administrative state, the second its democratic credentials, and the third its epistemic capacity. The chapter describes each framework before turning to a discussion of how each affects the others. It suggests that constitutionalists, democratic theorists, and epistemic technocrats engage in a never-ending shifting series of alliances. More specifically, each of these camps tends to see the claims of the other camps as side constraints to be complied with at the lowest possible cost, while seeing their own concerns as goals to be pursued to the maximum possible extent. In other words, there will always be competition among law, democracy, and knowledge in trying to control the administrative state.

Keywords: administrative state, constitutional theory, constitutional law, democratic theory, institutional epistemology, constitutionality, constitutionalists, law, democracy, knowledge

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