One Nation Under Contract: The Outsourcing of American Power and the Future of Foreign Policy

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 92%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (31) from $1.99   
  • New (7) from $3.09   
  • Used (24) from $1.99   

Overview

International relations scholar Allison Stanger shows how contractors became an integral part of American foreign policy, often in scandalous ways—but also maintains that contractors aren’t the problem; the absence of good government is.  Outsourcing done right is, in fact, indispensable to America’s interests in the information age.

Stanger makes three arguments.

  • The outsourcing of U.S. government activities is far greater than most people realize, has been very poorly managed, and has inadvertently militarized American foreign policy;
  • Despite this mismanagement, public-private partnerships are here to stay, so we had better learn to do them right;
  • With improved transparency and accountability, these partnerships can significantly extend the reach and effectiveness of U.S. efforts abroad.

The growing use of private contractors predates the Bush Administration, and while his era saw the practice rise to unprecedented levels, Stanger argues that it is both impossible and undesirable to turn back the clock and simply re-absorb all outsourced functions back into government.  Through explorations of the evolution of military outsourcing, the privatization of diplomacy, our dysfunctional homeland security apparatus, and the slow death of the U.S. Agency for International Development, Stanger shows that the requisite public-sector expertise to implement foreign policy no longer exists. The successful activities of charities and NGOs, coupled with the growing participation of multinational corporations in development efforts, make a new approach essential. Provocative and far-reaching, One Nation Under Contract presents a bold vision of what that new approach must be.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

World Politics Review

"Slim but powerfully argued…provocative….By shining a light on what she calls America''s ‘shadow government,’ [Stanger] does us the great favor of triggering a long overdue political debate." -- Thomas P.M. Barnett, World Politics Review

— Thomas P.M. Barnett

The Boston Globe

"The real strength of this superb book is not what it reveals, as stunning as that may be, but how well [Stanger] assimilates the changed circumstances of modern-day governance and simply addresses what now must be done….Stanger deserves a gold medal for this book." -- Boston Globe

New York Times

"As we debate how many more troops to dispatch to Afghanistan, it might be a good time to also debate just how far we''ve already gone in hiring private contractors to do jobs that the State Department, Pentagon and C.I.A. once did on their own. A good place to start is with ...One Nation Under Contract." -- Thomas Friedman, New York Times

— Thomas Friedman

International Political Science Assocation

Received Merit of Special Recognition for the 2010 Charles H. Levine Memorial Book Prize, given by The International Political Science Association''s Research Committee on the Structure of Governance.

— Charles H. Levine Memorial Book Prize

Debora Spar

"The book aims admirably for both breadth and depth, examining the specifics of private activity in defense, diplomacy, development and security under an intellectual rubric that cuts across all four spheres. This is a fascinating treatment of an important subject." -- Debora Spar, President, Barnard College

General Anthony C. Zinni

"A superb work on government outsourcing and contracting for those who want to get past the myths and truly understand this hot topic. One Nation Under Contract should be required reading for all those leaders involved in fixing this process in order to get a clear sense and scope of this critical issue." -- General Anthony C. Zinni USMC (Retired)
Joseph S. Nye

"Allison Stanger argues that the outsourcing of foreign policy functions as currently practiced is scandalous, but we cannot turn the clock back to top-down government. Smart power requires smart government, and this well reasoned book suggests how better to harness all the networks at our disposal in the information age." -- Joseph S. Nye Jr., Harvard University, author of The Powers to Lead
Charles MacCormack

"One Nation Under Contract breaks new ground in describing how the emergence of joint ventures between the government and private actors is transforming government accountability and diplomacy." -- Charles MacCormack, CEO, Save the Children
Michael Ignatieff

"As governments around the world contract out important tasks to private corporations, Allison Stanger has asked the key question: how do citizens reestablish effective oversight over private-public partnerships? One Nation Under Contract is a clarion call to bring the business of government under more effective public control." -- Michael Ignatieff, Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
World Politics Review - Thomas P.M. Barnett

"Slim but powerfully argued…provocative….By shining a light on what she calls America's ‘shadow government,’ [Stanger] does us the great favor of triggering a long overdue political debate." -- Thomas P.M. Barnett, World Politics Review

New York Times - Thomas Friedman

"As we debate how many more troops to dispatch to Afghanistan, it might be a good time to also debate just how far we've already gone in hiring private contractors to do jobs that the State Department, Pentagon and C.I.A. once did on their own. A good place to start is with ...One Nation Under Contract." -- Thomas Friedman, New York Times
International Political Science Assocation - Charles H. Levine Memorial Book Prize

Received Merit of Special Recognition for the 2010 Charles H. Levine Memorial Book Prize, given by The International Political Science Association's Research Committee on the Structure of Governance.
Publishers Weekly
Stanger, professor of international politics and economics at Middlebury College, comes to admirably nuanced conclusions in this important assessment of the trend of outsourcing critical tasks in the areas of foreign aid, defense, diplomacy and domestic security. Her analysis finds nothing inherently pernicious in the Bush administration's outsourcing of Iraqi security and reconstruction; contracting is a necessity given the ascendancy of the private sector as a key player in diplomacy in a globalized world. The executive branch's error has been to outsource “proper oversight” and contractor accountability—a “laissez-faire” approach she finds dangerous. Stanger is also troubled by the Pentagon's usurpation (and militarizing) of diplomatic and nation-building roles previously under the aegis of the State Department. She argues that the government must recognize that power in the 21st century “flows from new sources” and complacency at this stage threatens the government with enervation and possible obsolescence. These are vital, well-made and worrying points—readers will hope that the executive branch will heed the author's call to “take the plunge and re-imagine government itself.” (Nov.)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300152654
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 10/27/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Allison Stanger is Chair of the Political Science Department at Middlebury College.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2009

    A Must Read For Anyone Interested in America's Role in the World

    No one is more thorough than Allison Stanger. This book is a must read as it unveils the true picture of American power in all its contracted forms. Stanger has done extensive and exhaustive research for this book that has been highlighted in the WSJ, NYT, and multpile other influential sources. I reccomend it to anyone seeking a better understanding of American power, influece and role in the world.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 4, 2009

    USAID Run by the Department of State

    Oviously Ms. Saunders does not understand the basics of development but is an expert on the art of diplomacy. Yes, USAID has problems but only so much so that in the last ten years it is being run by the Department of State which in actuality has created the problems she addresses. But she does so in a very misguided fashion.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)