Document Type


Publication Date



Administrative law constrains and directs the behavior of officials in the many governmental bodies responsible for implementing legislation and handling governance responsibilities on a daily basis. This field of law consists of procedures for decision making by these administrative bodies, including rules about transparency and public participation. It also encompasses oversight practices provided by legislatures, courts, and elected executives. The way that administrative law affects the behavior of government officials holds important implications for the fulfillment of democratic principles as well as effective governance in society. This paper highlights salient political theory and legal issues fundamental to the U.S. administrative state but with relevance to the design and application of administrative law in any jurisdiction.


Administrative agencies, administrative process, benefit-cost analysis, courts, delegation, democracy, governance, government, judicial review, oversight, procedure, regulation, regulatory impact analysis

Publication Title

International Encyclopedia of Social & Behavioral Sciences

Publication Citation

In International Encyclopedia of Social & Behavioral Sciences (James D. Wright ed., 2d ed. 2015).