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International Public Authority

International Public Authority provides the focus for a number of projects analyzing the public authority exercised by international institutions. A significant part of world public opinion regards international institutions with considerable ambivalence: many of these institutions have become powerful; quite a few of their activities raise serious doubts; nonetheless, they should be vested with more powers in order to better further common interests. World public opinion voices legitimacy concerns alongside regulatory demands which poses a serious challenge for these institutions. We share this ambivalent view of international institutions. In response, we propose a theory of international public law.  The purpose of this theory is to identify, reconstruct and develop that segment of public international law that governs the exercise of international public authority. Thereby, we aim at articulating world public opinion in the language of international law. International public law stands for the reconstruction and development of the legal regimes governing the activities of international institutions in light of their publicness. In this way, legal scholarship may contribute to improving the legitimacy and the effectiveness of these activities. The research project on the exercise of international public authority shares this purpose with similar projects such as Global Administrative Law or Global Constitutionalism.

Read our lead paper explaining the aims, objectives, and background of the project:

From Public International Law to International Public Law: Translating World Public Opinion into International Public Authority (2016, available on SSRN)


Call for Papers: The MPIL invites the submission of proposals for a panel entitled “The Authoritarian Pushback and the Resilience of International Institutions” at the upcoming ICON Society annual conference in Hong Kong. Please send abstracts of up to 500 words until 20 January to


New Publication: Armin von Bogdandy (2017): Das Öffentliche im Völkerrecht im Lichte von Schmitts „Begriff des Politischen“: Zugleich ein Beitrag zur Theoriebildung im Öffentlichen Recht, Zeitschritt für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht 77 (4), 877-906.

New Publication: Leonie Vierck, Pedro A. Villarreal, and Katharina Weilert (eds.): The Governance of Disease Outbreaks - International Health Law: Lessons from the Ebola Crisis and Beyond. Nomos, Baden-Baden 2017, 339 p.




Event Archive


Lead Publications on Courts:

Armin von Bogdandy and Ingo Venzke: In Whose Name? A Public Law Theory of International Adjudication. OUP 2014, 304 p.

  • German Version: Armin von Bogdandy and Ingo Venzke: In wessen Namen? Internationale Gerichte in Zeiten globalen Regierens. Frankfurt a.M., Suhrkamp 2014, 383 p. Click here for more information on this project (in German).
  • Spanish Version: Armin von Bogdandy and Ingo Venzke: ¿En nombre de quién? Una teoría de Derecho público sobre la actividad judicial internacional. Translated by Paula Andrea Acosta Alvarado. Bogotá, Colombia, Universidad del Externado de Colombia, 402 p.

Armin von Bogdandy and Ingo Venzke (eds.): International Judicial Lawmaking. Springer 2012, XVII, 509p., ISBN 978-3-642-29586-7. Pre-published as a special issue in German Law Journal 12 (2011), issue 5.


Lead Publication on International Organizations:

Armin von Bogdandy, Matthias Goldmann, and Ingo Venzke: From Public International to International Public Law: Translating World Public Opinion into International Public Authority, European Journal of International Law 28/1 (2017) 115-145

Armin von Bogdandy, Rüdiger Wolfrum, Jochen von Bernstorff, Philipp Dann, and Matthias Goldmann (eds.): The Exercise of Public Authority by International Institutions: Advancing International Institutional Law, Springer 2010, 1005 pages, ISBN 978-3-642-04530-1.

  • Reviews by Lorenzo Casini, International Organizations Law Review 9 (2012) 249–262, and Klaus W. Grewlich, Die Öffentliche Verwaltung (2012) 318-319.

A large number of the contributions to this book were pre-published as a special issue of the German Law Journal 9 (2008), issue 11.

All Publications

Related Projects and Partner Institutions

Since 2013, the project has been affiliated with the Cluster of Excellence "Formation of Normative Orders" at Goethe University Frankfurt through a cluster project on the exercise of public authority on the international, supranational and domestic levels, carried out at the Max Planck Institute.

Since 2015, project members have worked on issues of International Health Governance

The Project is supported by a network of researchers at other institutions:

  • Justus Liebig University, Gießen: Jürgen Bast, Chair for Public Law and European Law
  • Eberhard Karls University, Tübingen: Jochen von Bernstorff, Chair for Public Law, International Law, Constitutional Theory and Human Rights
  • Humboldt University, Berlin: Philipp Dann, Chair for Public and Comparative Law
  • Goethe University Frankfurt: Matthias Goldmann, Junior Professor of International Public Law and Financial Law
  • Universiteit van Amsterdam: Ingo Venzke, Project on the Architecture of Postnational Rulemaking


Related Individual Research Projects

Individual Research Projects (Selection)


Project Team

Principal Investigator: Armin von Bogdandy

Project Manager: Matthias Goldmann and Silvia Steininger

Project Members: Kanad Bagchi, Franz Ebert, Ximena Soley, Mateja Steinbrück Platise, Pedro Villareal, Benedict Vischer

Former Project Managers: Jochen von Bernstorff, Philipp Dann, Isabel Feichtner, Ingo Venzke