Research Handbooks in Comparative Law series
Edited by Susan Rose-Ackerman and Peter L. Lindseth
Chapter 4: Administrative Law and the Public Regulation of Markets in a Global Age
Marco D’Alberti The role of public authority in the regulation of the economy has evolved over time. During the twentieth century, the intervention of the State and public administration into economic affairs steadily increased, at least until the 1970s, despite the strong, freemarket critiques directed at this approach. However, since the 1980s, the process of globalization (due to the enhanced development of world trade and international communications), along with privatization, liberalization, and deregulation, have modified the scope and method of public intervention. More recently, the global economic and financial crisis that began in 2008 raises the potential of bringing about new forms of (sometimes intense) regulation and administrative interventions. In short, the pendulum may be swinging back, with the evolution of market regulation, as well as its impact on administrative law, continuing apace. This chapter first tries to assess the principal trends in public regulation of markets since the outset of the twentieth century, emphasizing continuity despite the many changes that have taken place. The chapter then attempts to identify, in legal terms, the essential features of public regulation today, as well as their prospects beyond the present economic crisis. Finally, this contribution then considers the impact of changing forms of public regulation of markets on the substance and procedures of administrative law. 1. Public regulation of markets over the course of the twentieth century At the end of the nineteenth century the structure of many national States began to change. The progressive enlargement of the right to vote, as...
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