- Explore more great deals on thousands of titles in our Deals in Books store.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
One Nation Under Contract: The Outsourcing of American Power and the Future of Foreign Policy Hardcover – October 27, 2009
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Special offers and product promotions
From 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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"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)
"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
"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
"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
Top customer reviews
Ultimately the book fills us in on the laissez-faire going-ons of the U.S. government. Some of it is I'm sure well-known fact and some it may well surprise some of you who do not necessarily follow politics closely. I personally feel the issues posed in this book are bound to be replicated in future administrations just as government really has not changed in the last 70 to 100 years, so ultimately I believe the readers of this book will become jaded a week after reading.
Then again...perhaps I am a pessimist?
NOTE: I just noticed that I reviewed the paperback edition by accident - I purchased the Kindle Edition - It doesn't change my review of the book of course; however, I would point out that the Kindle Edition suffers from some poor formatting.
impact that our country experiences with using businesses within government to operate. The association is a two edged
effect, and has implications far beyond stated public political policies. A must read for any American!
Her argument is that the U.S. government has embraced outsourcing its overseas agenda as a solution for every international problem, with disastrous unintended consequences. That combined with a simultaneous explosion of creative initiatives bubbling up from below, both in the for-profit and not-for profit sectors, have real foreign policy impact. For her, the transformation of the politics and process of foreign policy elevates the "how" above the "what" and means that implementation defines the substance and has led to a militarization of American foreign policy. Finally, she situates these power shifts of the disaggregated state within the context of a private sector populated by corporations with unprecedented global muscle.
As a gardener, I understand the importance of surging plant material in the landscape. When I began gardening in earnest on Cape Cod in 2004, I planted native shrubs, like Red Osier Dogwood, to quickly fill the gaps until the specimen trees I had planted to replace our beloved but dying Pitch Pines could mature. For years the Red Osier performed beautifully. Then, I noticed that they were overwhelming the garden scheme by suckering and fountaining. Suckers, as any good gardener knows, are often undesirable because "the plant's energy is diverted to the sucker rather than to crown growth." The solution is to prune those suckers and, every few years, reshape the plant to constrain its growth and conform its shape to the desired landscape.
Allison Stanger has the same advice for the U.S. government: get out those loppers. Collaboration with private sector entities in pursuit of national security is essential in this networked world and certain naturalizing of government functions in the private sector is healthy. The foreign affairs landscape is changing organically and cannot be returned to some old-fashioned topiary filled parterre. But, if the national interest and the public good are to be served rather than private profit, principals in the foreign affairs agencies need to get out their shears and prune those suckers!
Most recent customer reviews
1. Poorly written -- the author saps the life out of what could be a very interesting topic with boring prose and endless repetition of...Read more
Dec. 19, 2009
Missing in Action
One Nation Under Contract by Allison Stanger
Reviewed by David...Read more