13(2) International Journal of Constitutional Law 2015

Going Global, Turning Back National: Towards a Cosmopolitan Administrative Law?


Giulio Napolitano

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Ten years ago, the global administrative law project represented a new promised land for administrative lawyers, escaping the crisis that was affecting the fundamental pillars of administrative law at national level. In these ten years, the global administrative law scholarship did a very good and hard job. It discovered new lands, challenging cognate disciplines and refreshing the mind of a scientific community traditionally enclosed in the national boundaries. From this point of view, global administrative law pushed for a significant renewal of national administrative law: sometimes you have to go to the moon to have a better and more comprehensive view of the Earth. Another important contribution of the global administrative scholarship was the rebirth of comparative studies, beyond the traditional cross-country approach. That is why going to the global level and turning back to the national one with a stronger comparative approach can open up a new frontier of cosmopolitan administrative law, which is everywhere concerned with the double task of empowering public authorities and controlling the bureaucratic behavior and dominated by functional needs and the logic of collective action.