Feature Comment: The Well-Reasoned Case for Reversing the Outsourcing Trend: A Review Essay of Jon Michaels’ Constitutional Coup: Privatization's Threat to the American Republic
Steven L. Schooner, Feature Comment: The Well-Reasoned Case for Reversing the Outsourcing Trend: A Review Essay of Jon Michaels’ Constitutional Coup: Privatization’s Threat to the American Republic, 59 Gov’t Contractor ¶ 319, Oct. 25, 2017, at 1.
7 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2017 Last revised: 2 Nov 2017
Date Written: 2017
This essay discusses Jon Michaels’ thoughtful and thought-provoking new book, Constitutional Coup: Privatization’s Threat to the American Republic (Harvard, 2017). In the book, Michaels recommends not only that we apply the brakes to the outsourcing train, but that the very future of our nation depends upon taking a meaningful, substantive, principled, fundamental step back. Michaels also cautions us that, particularly at this unique and seemingly anxiety-fraught moment in time, we fail to address these important questions now at our own peril.
This is an ambitious work, with a broad-reaching agenda. Michaels poses a largely aspirational, Constitutional, case for a greater commitment to the civil service; he looks to the courts for judicial custodialism to promote administrative separation of powers; and he implores Congress to provide more support for the civil service; increase public participation in administrative proceedings; and break its habit of bad-faith obstructionism. Michaels provides plenty of food for thought for Constitutional, administrative law, and public policy scholars, and his rich historical review sheds new light on the outsourcing and privatization revolution in the United States.
Keywords: Privatization, Outsourcing, Contracting Out, Government Contracts, Defense Acquisition, Administrative Law, Chevron, Separation of Powers
JEL Classification: H42, H56, H57, H83, K23, L32, L33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation