The Exercise of Public Authority on the International, Supranational, and Domestic Levels: Reconstructing Public Law to Face the Challenges of Multilevel Governance

The project “The Exercise of Public Authority on the International, Supranational, and Domestic Levels: Reconstructing Public Law to Face the Challenges of Multilevel Governance” analyzes the governance of international and European institutions and their respective courts from a legal perspective. These institutions sometimes have a major impact on State action and even on individual lives, which in turn raises the question of how their legal framework should be brought into line, or is already in line, with the principles governing the exercise of State authority.
Within the framework of the Cluster, this project contributes a specific legal research perspective that aims to generate doctrinal legal concepts and is open to the normative and empirical analyses of other Cluster projects. The findings of the latter help to generate doctrinal concepts and to achieve an adequate understanding of the impact and normative relevance of new governance phenomena. Conversely, doctrinal concepts may support other disciplines by providing a framework for descriptions of empirical reality.
An intensive discursive exchange between Armin von Bogdandy, Matthias Goldmann and Ingo Venzke led to a co-authored text (Bogdandy, Goldmann and Venzke 2017) on approaches to research on specific thematic areas. The potential of this approach in the areas of international financial, labor, refugee, and food security law was subsequently demonstrated in several workshops, a postdoctoral book project (“Habilitation”), and three PhD theses. Discussions in Frankfurt and Heidelberg presented this approach to the broader public with reference to TTIP and the sovereign debt crisis in Greece.
The concept of international public authority was developed further in decisive ways, laying the conceptual and theoretical foundation for legal research on the relations between State and supranational legal orders and between private and public law. The resulting approach provides important impulses for the research community, the clearest indication of which is the significantly increased interest in the concept of “authority” during workshops and conferences, in which the concepts developed by this Cluster project often play a central role. Moreover, the omnipresent criticism of phenomena of globalization highlights the practical relevance of this project. In addition, some of our team members have been able to integrate findings from our research into their consulting activities for international organizations.

The most important events of this project:

Panel: Was ist Recht bei TTIP?, Armin von Bogdandy in conversation with secretary of state Alexander Lorz (part of the discussion series Stadtgespräch of the Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders"), Historical Museum, Frankfurt am Main, November 10, 2015.

Workshop: In Whose Name? A Public Law Theory on International Adjudication, Asser Institute, Den Haag, September 8, 2015.

Workshop: Democracy and the Financial Order: Legal Perspectives (in cooperation with the German Law Journal), Keynote: Henrik Enderlein (Hertie School of Governance, Berlin), Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders", Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, September 2–3, 2015.

Panel: Hellas‘ Zukunft? Greece and Europe after the Referendum (with Armin von Bogdandy, Achilles Scordas, Michalis Ioannidis and Matthias Goldmann), DAI Heidelberg, July 16, 2015.

Workshop: IPA Meets Dissidenz (interdisciplinary workshop with Nicole Deitelhoff’s workgroup), Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders", Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, April 4, 2014.


The most important publications of this project:

von Bogdandy, Armin/Matthias Goldmann/Ingo Venzke: “From Public International to International Public Law: Translating World Public Opinion into International Public Authority”, in: European Journal of International Law 28(1), 2017, pp. 115–145.

von Bogdandy, Armin: Pondering Schmitt's Concept of the Political for International Public Authority: On Methods, Standards and Disciplinary Settings for Public Law Theory, MPIL Research Paper No. 2016–22, 2016.

Goldmann, Matthias and Silvia Steininger: “A Discourse Theoretical Approach to Sovereign Debt Restructuring: Towards a Democratic Financial Order”, in: German Law Journal 17(5), 2016, pp. 709–746.

Goldmann, Matthias: Internationale öffentliche Gewalt, Berlin/Heidelberg: Springer, 2015.  

von Bogdandy, Armin and Ingo Venzke: In wessen Namen? Internationale Gerichte in Zeiten globalen Regierens, Berlin: Suhrkamp, 2014. English translation: In Whose Name?, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.



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