Legitimate Expectations for Public Administration Legitimate Expectations for Public Administration

Should governmental administrative agencies be forced by the courts to do what they said they were going to do?

In a new article for the Journal of Political Philosophy  and a new book with Oxford University Press, Alexander Brown attempts to answer these deep questions of political and Legal theory.

His new theory of legitimate expectations for public administration draws on normative arguments from political and legal theory. Brown begins by offering a new account of the legitimacy of legitimate expectations. He argues that it is the very responsibility of governmental administrative agencies for creating expectations that ought to ground legitimacy, as opposed to the justice or the legitimate authority of those agencies and expectations. He also clarifies some of the main ways in which agencies can be responsible for creating expectations. Moreover, he argues that governmental administrative agencies should be held liable for losses they directly cause by creating and then frustrating legitimate expectations on the part of non-governmental agents and, if liable, have an obligation to make adequate compensation payments in respect of those losses. This principle he grounds in deontological norms as well as consequentialist considerations.


Alexander Brown, Reader, School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies

Brown, A. (2017), A Theory of Legitimate Expectations. Journal of Political Philosophy, 25: 435–460. doi:10.1111/jopp.12135

Brown, A. (2017), A Theory of Legitimate Expectations for Public Administration. Oxford University Press, Oxford. ISBN 978-0198812753