Constitutional Coup: Privatization's Threat to the American Republic (Introduction)
Constitutional Coup: Privatization's Threat to the American Republic, Harvard University Press (2017)
22 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2017 Last revised: 30 Sep 2017
Date Written: September 22, 2017
Americans have a love-hate relationship with government. Rejecting bureaucracy — but not the goods and services the welfare state provides — Americans are insisting government be made to run like a business. But, as Constitutional Coup shows, separating the state from its public servants, practices, and institutions does violence to our Constitution, and threatens the health, stability, and legitimacy of the Republic.
Weaving together dramatic accounts of the Framers’ original governing scheme, FDR’s New Deal, LBJ’s Great Society, Ronald Reagan’s Privatization Revolution, and — now — the instant Trumpist movement to run government like a business, Constitutional Coup tells the story of the rise, maturation, and present-day demise of American constitutional government.
Casting privatization as an existential threat, Constitutional Coup explains how the fusion of politics and profits commercializes and destabilizes government, enriching big businesses cozy with the White House while emboldening CEO-style presidents to act imperially, with insufficient regard for bureaucratic expertise, public input, or the rule of law.
Keywords: Separation of Powers; Constitutional Law; Administrative Law; Bureaucracy; Civil Service; Privatization; Businesslike Government; Neoliberalism; Presidential Power; Welfare State; Running Government like a Business
JEL Classification: H11, H50, L32, L33, L38, L50
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation