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. This project, carried out in cooperation with the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, shares this ambivalent view of international institutions. In response, it proposes 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 by reconstructing and developing the legal regimes governing the activities of international institutions with a view to their democratic legitimacy and effectiveness. 

Recent research projects by Matthias Goldmann focus on the theory and development of the sources of international law, including so-called soft law and the multi-faceted notion of principles of international law.


Key publications

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

Goldmann, Matthias, Relative Normativity. Chapter for Jean d’Aspremont and Sahib Singh (eds.), Fundamental Concepts of International Law (2017 Forthcoming). Draft available at SSRN.

From Public International to International Public Law: Translating World Public Opinion into International Public Authority. European Journal of International Law 28 (2017), forthcoming (with Armin von Bogdandy and Ingo Venzke). Draft available at SSRN.

A Meta-Theory of the Sources of International Law: Exploring the Hermeneutics, Authority and Publicness of International Law (forthcoming chapter in Jean d'Aspremont & Samantha Besson (eds.), The Oxford Handbook on the Sources of International Law, forthcoming 2017). Available at SSRN.

A Matter of Perspective. Global Governance and the Distinction between Public and Private Authority (and Not Law). Global Constitutionalism 5 (2016), forthcoming. Available at SSRN.

Internationale öffentliche Gewalt. Handlungsformen internationaler Institutionen im Zeitalter der Globalisierung, Springer, Heidelberg 2015, XXVI + 560 + 80 pages. eBook available here.

We Need to Cut Off the Head of the King: Past, Present, and Future Approaches to International Soft Law. Leiden Journal of International Law 25 (2012) 335-368. Available here.

The Exercise of Public Authority by International Institutions.Advancing International Institutional Law. Springer, Heidelberg 2010, 1005 p., (with Armin von Bogdandy, Rüdiger Wolfrum, Jochen von Bernstorff, Philipp Dann).