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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)


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









"En nombre de quién?" - Spanish translation of "In Whose Name?"

This book was recently launched at an event at Universidad Externado in Bogotá, Colombia. Translated by Paula Andrea Acosta Alvarado. Universidad Externado de Colombia, 2016, 402 p.

Appeared in July 2016: Special Issue on International Public Authority

Goettingen Journal of International Law, vol. 7 issue 1 (2016). Available on the journal website. Contains five contributions which explore the potential of the IPA approach in matters related to the environment, global health and epidemics, internet standardization, the fight against racism, and the rule of law. Enjoy!


20.09.2017 - 21.09.2017, Sitzungszimmer - Raum 014

International Public Authority - Workshop

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).

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:

The Exercise of Public Authority by International Institutions: Advancing International Institutional law, ed. by Armin von Bogdandy, Rüdiger Wolfrum, Jochen von Bernstorff, Philipp Dann, and Matthias Goldmann, 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.


An important aspect of the project concerns the Responsibility of International Organizations. More information is available on the project website.


Since 2015, project members have worked on issues of International Health Governance. More information is available on the project website.


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


The project on the Exercise of International Public Authority is carried out in the context of, and in exchange with, a number of related projects:

Global Constitutionalism, Project by Anne Peters at MPI Heidelberg

Cluster of Excellence “The Formation of Normative Orders”, Goethe University Frankfurt

New York University School of Law, Global Administrative Law Project 

Institute for Research on Public Administration, Rome

Tel Aviv University, Buchmann Faculty of Law

Collaborative Research Center 597 "Transformations of the State", Bremen             

Project Management

Principal Investigator: Armin von Bogdandy

Project Manager: Matthias Goldmann, Leonie Vierck

Cluster project members: Franz Ebert, Matthias Schmidt, Ximena SoleyPedro Villareal

Research Fellow: Silvia Steininger

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