4 The Administrative State in America
William J. Novak
Edited By: Sabino Cassese, Armin von Bogdandy, Peter Huber
This chapter examines the idea of the Continental State in a common-law context, by focusing in particular on the American state. Building on some very recent historical and theoretical work on the American state, the chapter explores the conscious effort of the United States to create a modern state based loosely on the Continental model. It argues that American ideas and institutions were not created in isolation. Rather, from the beginning, American intellectuals, jurists, and state reformers engaged in an extended trans-Atlantic dialogue concerning matters of politics, law, and statecraft. This was especially true of the period that experienced the most extensive transformations in American governance and statecraft — the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Accordingly, this chapter takes a close look at the American tradition of law and state building in this formative era — from 1866 to 1932.