Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



This Article demonstrates how multi-agency decision making can enhance the legitimacy of the administrative system. After discussing the meaning of legitimacy in a highly stable society, it analyzes multi-agency decision making process from the perspective of the political scientist. I particularly emphasize "partisan mutual adjustment" analysis, which views the system as adjusting continually to the conduct of interacting participants. This theory comports not only with the pluralistic, pressure politics model of American government, but also with the methodology of classical economics, which celebrates the product of competing, conflicting interests.The Article concludes by demonstrating that the multi-agency process can increase legitimacy by furthering those constitutional values that most often call into question an agency's validity. Multi-agency decision making is not always the best administrative structure. It's many advantages, however, may frequently make it the most desirable option.