Colloquium - Empire of the Willing: The Privatization of American Power
February 22, 2008
12:30PM - 12:30PM (EST)
Allison Stanger, Director of the Rohatyn Center for International Affairs and the James Jermain Professor of Political Economy, Middlebury College
Stanger is the co-editor and co-translator (with Michael Kraus) of Irreconcilable Differences? Explaining Czechoslovakia's Dissolution (Rowman and Littlefield, 2000). Her essays and op-eds have appeared in The American Scholar, Democratization, East European Constitutional Review, Financial Times (with Felix Rohatyn), Oxford International Review, New England Review, Litererne Noviny (Prague), Lateral (Barcelona), and in numerous edited volumes. Stanger received her doctorate in political science from Harvard University and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Academic Leadership Council of Business for Diplomatic Action, and the Board of the American Friends of the Vaclav Havel Library. She is also a contributor to the Booz Allen Hamilton project on the World's Most Enduring Institutions, and the Princeton Project on National Security. Her most recent book is Empire of the Willing: The Privatization of American Power (Basic Books, forthcoming).
Contractor activities in Iraq have received significant negative media attention, but the average American citizen is unaware that they are just the tip of an iceberg. In 2005, the U.S. government had a contract presence (U.S.-funded contractors working in a given territory) in every UN-recognized country in the world except Bhutan, Nauru, and San Marino. While our attention was focused elsewhere, American foreign policy has been privatized. Empire of the Willing argues that outsourcing as presently practiced is scandalous, but the solution is not to turn the clock back but instead to demand that government collaborate with the private sector in ways that serve the public interest.