68 Law and Contemporary Problems (2005)

The Emergence of Global Administrative Law

Benedict Kingsbury, Nico Krisch & Richard B. Stewart

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Emerging patterns of global governance are being shaped by a little-noticed but important and growing body of global administrative law. This body of law is not at present unified — indeed, it is not yet an organized field of scholarship or of practice. The Global Administrative Law Research Project at New York University School of Law is an effort to systematize studies in diverse national, transnational, and international settings that relate to the administrative law of global governance. Using ideas developed in the first phases of this project, in this article we begin the task of identifying, among these assorted practices, some patterns of commonality and connection sufficiently deep and far-reaching as to constitute an embryonic field of global administrative law. We point to some factors encouraging the development of common approaches, and to mechanisms of learning, borrowing, and cross-referencing, that are contributing to a degree of integration in this field. We also note some major constraints and enduring reasons for non-convergence. We begin to assess the normative case for and against promotion of a unified field of global administrative law, and for and against some specific positions within it. This paper draws on publications by project contributors and others in this area, and seeks to carry this collective enterprise forward; but the results remain preliminary.