1st Edition

Governance and Constitutionalism Law, Politics and Institutional Neutrality

Edited By Bogdan Iancu, Elena-Simina Tănăsescu Copyright 2019
    216 Pages
    by Routledge

    216 Pages
    by Routledge

    This collection studies the rise of neutral bodies as a challenge to the constitutional paradigm of the nation state. Administrative entities such as commissions, agencies, councils, authorities or ‘independent agencies’ as they are sometimes known, are relatively autonomous from majoritarian democratic control and by their institutional design fall outside the classical triad of powers or branches of government. They may even fall outside the confines of the nation state itself as with the EU Commission.

    The book is divided into theoretical-historical and empirical parts. Part I approaches the phenomenon through the rigorous normative conceptual lens of constitutionalism and constitutional law, questioning the implications of political neutrality on inherited normative categories, both at national and supranational level. Part II comprises case-studies reflecting the full spectrum of theoretical frameworks and concerns developed and explored by the theory-oriented chapters in the first part. The work explores a wide range of issues including the balance between autonomy, legitimacy and accountability, the taxonomy of agencies, the role and limits of expertise as a paramount justification for independence, ‘agentification’ as a result of internationalisation, and ‘agentification’ as a reflex and consequence of transnational polity-building within the EU.

    Introduction - Bogdan Iancu and Elena Simina Tănăsescu

    Part I Administrative Autonomy and Democracy

    1. Government and Governance: The Constitutional Politics of Institutional Neutrality - Bogdan Iancu

    2. The People, the Experts, and the Politicians: Is Expertise a Challenge to democratic Legitimacy? - Lucian Bojin

    3. Rule of Lawyers or Rule of Law? On Constitutional Crisis and Rule of Law in Poland - Adam Czarnota

    4. Agencification as European Union Acquis - Jacques Ziller

    Part II Case Studies

    5. The Impact of National Accountability Agencies on the EU - Elena Simina Tănăsescu

    6. De-politicization by Europeanization: the emergence of the fragmented state in South Eastern Europe - Martin Mendelski

    7. Hungary: Regulatory Bodies in an Illiberal Democracy - Attila Vincze

    8. Independence by Law or by Practice? Taiwan’s National Communications Commission and Central Bank - Jiunn-rong Yeh and Wen-Chen Chang

    9. The State Reform in Brazil: More of the Same? - Gilberto Bercovici

    10. Implementation of Separation of Powers and Scope of Independence of Politically Neutral Organs in Russia - Sergei A. Belov

    11. Independent Regulation in the Contemporary Italian Legal System - Giovanni Frazzica and Antonio La Spina

    Afterword: The Need for Independent Regulatory Authorities in the Perspective of Contemporary Constitutionalism - Antonio La Spina


    Bogdan Iancu is an Associate Professor, teaching in the fields of comparative constitutional law and constitutional theory at the Faculty of Political Science, University of Bucharest, Romania. He has researched at various law faculties and research institutes in Europe and North America and lectured on legal theory and US constitutional law at McGill and Université de Montréal. Iancu’s research focuses on Romanian and comparative constitutional law, EU constitutionalism, history of constitutionalism, and constitutional theory.

    Elena Simina Tănăsescu is Full Professor of Constitutional Law, University of Bucharest, Romania. She held visiting professorships at universities in Europe and Latin America, was the representative of civil society in the Superior Council of Magistracy and the Romanian representative in the Agency for Fundamental Rights of the EU and in the Group of Independent Experts on the European Charter of Local Self-Government. Tănăsescu’s teaching and research focuses on Romanian and comparative constitutional law and European law.