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De rechtsstaat: Terug op de bestuurskundige agenda

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 4 2011
Trefwoorden rule of law, constitutionalism, administrative law
Auteurs Stavros Zouridis
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    There seems to be a contradiction between what is happening in public administration discipline and public administration practice. Whereas public administration discipline and law largely separated during the past decades public administration practice and law have converged. Recently three books have been published which emphasize the importance of the rule of law as an explanatory variable for public administration's design and behavior. In this review essay these books are discussed from a public administration theory perspective. The point of departure of the authors substantially differs. Beckett (‘Public Management and the Rule of Law’, 2010) focuses on the rule of law, Cooper (‘Public Law & Public Administration’, 2007) and Rosenbloom, O'Leary & Chanin (‘Public Administration and Law’, 2010) aim at constitutionalizing public administration. The rule of law and the constitution prove to be shaky grounds for a public administration theory. In general constitutional competence may be important for public managers and professionals, but what it means for everyday practices is not easy to establish. The authors therefore extensively describe American public law, emphasizing the constitutional constraints and general administrative law. With these books the authors provide excellent building blocks for a comparative approach of the rule of law from a public administration perspective. The aim of such an approach would be to discover patterns between legal and constitutional designs on the one hand and everyday administrative practices on the other hand.


Stavros Zouridis
Prof. mr. dr S. Zouridis is hoogleraar Bestuurskunde aan de Universiteit van Tilburg.
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