Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Political Science


Peter Liberman

Committee Members

Christa Altenstetter

John R. Bowman

Subject Categories

Political Science


The outsourcing of military activities and services has grown dramatically in recent decades. My objective is to understand and explain this phenomenon at work in the United States Department of Defense (DoD) using theoretical frameworks of strategic efficiency, political ideology and organizational theory factors. This study seeks to answer the question, why has the DOD outsourced support activities and functions that contribute to larger national security objectives and were traditionally performed by DoD personnel? I'll use a case-study methodology to examine outsourcing in the DoD between 1970 and 2005, to include an in-depth look at the information technology (IT) networks area of the military services.

I've chosen these cases because they combine to represent a broad perspective of outsourcing behavior across each service over time as well as a specific core area relevant to the war-fighting mission of each service. Since the phenomenon is under explored in political science, my study will be valuable in expanding our understanding of the factors influencing the increasing role of market actors in national defense activities. I'll also address issues regarding the distribution of power, authority and public accountability while identifying relevant bureaucratic, ideological and organizational factors affecting the development and implementation of national security.


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