Politics, Policy and Outsourcing in the United States: The Role of Administrative Law
Administrative Law in a Changing State - Essays in Honor of Mark Aronson, Linda Pearson, Carol Harlow and Michael Taggart, eds., Hart Publishing, 2008
11 Pages Posted: 3 Mar 2010 Last revised: 10 Jul 2013
Date Written: 2008
Privatization, outsourcing and the use of contracts in the United States to achieve various mixed administrations of public and private power is the focus of this essay. This essay argues that public and private cannot be understood in binary terms, particularly given the ways in which states are now reconfiguring themselves, relying on markets and the private sector to carry out public responsibilities. The main argument of this essay is twofold. First, the binary distinction between “public” and “private” fails to capture important actualities of privatization, and therefore, tends to understate the scope for political participation and compromise. Second, administrative law remains an important democratic counterweight to technocratic decision making, especially in privatization contexts.
Keywords: globalization, neoliberalism, privatization, outsourcing, private prisons, public/private distinction, political participation, administrative law
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