Reliance on the private military industry and the privatization of public functions has left our government less able to govern effectively. When decisions that should have been taken by government officials are delegated (wholly or in part) to private contractors without appropriate oversight, the public interest is jeopardized. Books on private military have described the problem well, but they have not offered prescriptions or solutions this book does.
1. Introduction; 2. The privatization movement: an overview; 3. The privatization of government functions; 4. The public-private distinction and constitutional law; 5. The nondelegable duty to govern; 6. The administrative restrictions on contracting out inherent government functions; 7. The role of the Courts and Congress in preserving government functions; 8. Conclusions.
"Privatizing can be useful. Excessive privatization is dangerous. With more than 100,000 private contractors currently operating in Iraq alone, the implications of Outsourcing Sovereignty, as Paul Verkuil’s timely and perceptive new book warns, should be the concern of every American."
Ted Koppel, Managing Editor, Discovery Channel
"For the last generation, American government at all levels has vastly expanded privatization of public programs. In this path-breaking analysis, Verkuil reminds us a rush toward privatization for efficiency’s sake can ironically threaten the conduct of a responsible democracy. Anyone who cares about the future of American government will have to confront the powerful argument that Verkuil raises in this important book."
Donald F. Kettl Director, Fels Institute of Government University of Pennsylvania
"Paul Verkuil’s thoughtful and thorough account assembles key facts behind privatization of military, incarceration, policing, and domestic security, and provides the lenses of political and legal analyses to make sense of the private-contract state--the emerging ‘fourth branch’ of government. Anyone who cares about democracy needs to know the information and questions raised in this astute book."
Martha Minow, Jeremiah Smith Jr. Professor of Law, Harvard Law School; Author of Partners, Not Rivals: Privatization and the Public Good
"A path-breaking discussion, with implications for countless debates about the uses and limits of privatization. Verkuil is one of the most illuminating public law scholars in the country, and this book sheds a bright new light on the line between the private and public spheres."
Cass R. Sunstein, University of Chicago Law School
"Outsourcing Sovereignty is a penetrating and timely analysis exploring a set of issues vital to our nation’s security and prosperity."
Max Stier, President and CEO, Partnership for Public Service
"Paul Verkuil’s book is an important book at an important time. When the forces of the market are hailed as the best guide for efficiency and effectiveness and globalization reinforces this, it is imperative to ask what the limits of ‘the market’ can be and to re-asses the value of public goods and services within states….Although the book focuses on the situation in the United States, the value of the insights it provides go much further."
Sam Muller, Director of The Hague Institute for the Internationalization of Law
"Certainly anyone interested in remedying the dangers of 'outsourcing sovereignty' would do well to study closely Verkuil's extremely valuable contribution"
Philip a. Dynia, Loyola University New Orleans, Law and Politics Book Review