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Dickinson publishes ‘Outsourcing War and Peace’

December 28, 2010

A book, Outsourcing War and Peace: Preserving Public Values in a World of Privatized Foreign Affairs, by Laura Dickinson, Faculty Director of the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law Center for Law and Global Affairs, has just been published by Yale university Press.

In the book, Dickinson analyzes the trend over the last 20 years or more to hire private firms to perform duties such as security operations abroad, deliver foreign aid and conduct peace negotiations, among others. This trend has garnered much press because of scandals like Blackwater.

Dickinson argues that, while many privatization critics seek to halt the practice of outsourcing, it is not a realistic solution. Instead, she seeks to identify a variety of potential oversight and accountability mechanisms that could be built into the privatization process. Although some of these mechanisms involve strengthening criminal law regimes, Dickinson argues that additional oversight and restraint mechanisms can be found by focusing on tort suits, better contractual drafting and monitoring, increased feedback mechanisms for affected populations, and key changes to the organizational structures of contract firms.

Judy Nichols,
Office of Communications, College of Law