Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

The revolution in federal procurement, 1980–present

  • Andrew J. Taylor

Abstract

This paper examines revolutionary changes in the federal procurement regime that have taken place over roughly the past thirty-five years. The procurement process has long been formalized, but contractors were dispersed across the country and tended to furnish tangible goods in singular and discrete transactions. As a result of technology, global competition and security threats, ideological shifts, and fiscal changes, procurement spending exploded after 9/11 and today the regime forms “information communities” in which private companies exert both political and economic influence and supply staffing and information to the federal government within a continuous and seamless relationship where lines demarcating responsibilities and personnel are blurred.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      The revolution in federal procurement, 1980–present
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      The revolution in federal procurement, 1980–present
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      The revolution in federal procurement, 1980–present
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Andrew J. Taylor, professor of political science, School of Public and International Affairs, North Carolina State University, Box 8102, Raleigh, NC 276958-8102; Tel.: 919-515-8618, email: ataylor@ncsu.edu

Footnotes

Hide All

Previous versions of the paper were presented to the annual meetings of the Midwest Political Science Association and Southern Political Science Association. I would like to thank Jeff Grynaviski, Trey Marchbanks, Brian Kelleher Richter, Henrik Schatzinger, and Doug Schuler for their helpful comments.

Footnotes

References

Hide All
Adams, Gordon. 1981. The Politics of Defense Contracting: The Iron Triangle. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books.
Arrow, Kenneth J. 1962. “The Economic Implications of Learning by Doing.” Review of Economic Studies 29 (3): 155–73.
Audretsch, David B. and Feldman, Maryann P.. 1996. “R&D Spillovers and the Geography of Innovation and Production.” American Economic Review 86 (3): 253–73.
Bachner, Jennifer and Ginsberg, Benjamin, 2016. What Washington Gets Wrong: The Unelected Officials who Actually Run Government and Their Misconceptions about the American People. Amherst, NY: Prometheus.
Barlett, Donald L. and Steele, James B.. 2007. “Washington's $8 Billion Shadow.” Vanity Fair March: 342–58.
Baumgartner, Frank R., Berry, Jeffrey M., Hojnacki, Marie, Kimball, David C., and Leech, Beth L.. 2009. Lobbying and Policy Change: Who Wins, Who Loses, and Why. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Berry, Christopher R., Burden, Barry C., and Howell, William G.. 2010. “The President and the Distribution of Federal Spending.” American Political Science Review 104 (4): 783–99.
Bickers, Kenneth N. and Stein, Robert M.. 2000. “The Congressional Pork Barrel in a Republican Era.” Journal of Politics 62 (4): 1,070–86.
Boehmke, Frederick J., Gailmard, Sean, and Patty, John W.. 2013. “Business as Usual: Interest Group Access and Representation across Policy-Making Venues.” Journal of Public Policy 33 (1): 333.
Carpenter, Daniel, Esterling, Kevin M., and Lazer, David. 2004. “Friends, Brokers, and Transitivity: Who Informs Whom in Washington Politics?Journal of Politics 66 (1): 224–46.
Chassy, Paul and Amey, Scott H.. 2011. Bad Business: Millions of Taxpayer Dollars Wasted on Hiring Contractors. Washington, D.C.: Project on Government Oversight.
Chubb, John. 1983. Interest Groups and the Bureaucracy. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Derouen, Karl Jr. and Heo, Uk. 2000. “Defense Contracting and Domestic Politics.” Political Research Quarterly 53 (4): 753–69.
Dexter, Lewis A. 1963. “Congress and the Making of Military Policy.” In Peabody, Robert L. and Polsby, Nelson W. (eds.) New Perspectives on the House of Representatives. Chicago: Rand McNally, 301–24.
Drutman, Lee. 2015. The Business of America is Lobbying: How Companies Became Politicized and Politics Became More Corporate. New York: Oxford University Press.
Dunlap, Charles J. Jr. 2011. “The Military-Industrial Complex.” Daedalus 140 (3): 135–47.
Dwyre, Diana and Braz, Evelyn. 2015. “Super PAC Spending Strategies and GoalsThe Forum 13 (2): 245–67.
Ellman, Jesse, Morrow, David, and Sanders, Gregory. 2012. U.S. Department of Defense Contract Spending and the Supporting Industrial Base. Washington, D.C.: Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Engbrecht, Shawn. 2010. America's Covert Warriors: Inside the World of Private Military Contractors. Herndon, VA: Potomac Books.
Esterling, Kevin M. 2007. “Buying Expertise: Campaign Contributions and Attention to Policy Analysis in Congressional Committees.” American Political Science Review 101 (1): 93109.
Feldman, Maryann P. 1993. “An Examination of the Geography of Innovation.” Industrial and Corporate Change 4 (3): 451–70.
Feldman, Maryann P. 2001. “The Entreprenerial Event Revisited: Firm Foundation in Regional Context.” Industrial and Corporate Change 10 (4): 861–91.
Fernandez, Sergio, Malatesta, Deanna, and Smith, Craig. 2013. “Race, Gender, and Government Contracting: Different Explanations or New Prospects for Theory?Public Administration Review 73 (1): 109120.
Gais, Thomas L., Peterson, Mark A., and Walker, Jack L.. 1984. “Interest Groups, Iron Triangles, and Representative Institutions in American National Government.” British Journal of Political Science 14 (1): 161–85.
Gansler, Jacques S. 2011. Democracy's Arsenal: Creating a Twenty-First Century Defense Industry. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Gerstein, Josh. 2015. “How Obama Failed to Shut Washington's Revolving Door.” Politico. (Accessed on 31 December 2017) http://www.politico.com/story/2015/12/barack-obama-revolving-door-lobbying-217042.
Gitterman, Daniel P. 2013. “The American Presidency and the Power of the Purchaser.” Presidential Studies Quarterly 43 (2): 225–51.
Glaeser, Edward, Kallal, Hedi, Scheinkman, Jose, and Shleifer, Andrei. 1992. “Growth in Cities,” Journal of Political Economy 100 (6): 1,126–53.
Gordon, Sanford C. and Hafer, Catherine. 2005. “Flexing Muscle: Corporate Political Expenditures as Signals to the Bureaucracy.” American Political Science Review 99 (2): 245–61.
Guttman, Dan. 2006. “Contracting, an American Way of Governance: Post 9/11 Constitutional Choices.” In Stanton, Thomas H. (ed.) Meeting the Challenge of 9/11: Blueprints for More Effective Government, Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe Publishers, 230–73.
Hall, Richard L. and Deardorff, Alan V.. 2006. “Lobbying as Legislative Subsidy.” American Political Science Review 100 (1): 6984.
Hallacher, Paul M. 2005. Why Policy Issue Networks Matter. Lanham, MD: Rowman Littlefield.
Harrington, James W. Jr. and Campbell, Harrison S. Jr. 1997. “The Suburbanization of Producer Service Employment.” Growth and Change 28 (2): 335–59.
Harris, Shane. 2014. @War: The Rise of the Military-Internet Complex. New York: Mariner.
Heclo, Hugh. 1978. “Issue Networks and the Executive Establishment.” In The New American Political System edited by King, Anthony. Washington D.C.: American Enterprise Institute.
Kelman, Steven. 1990. Procurement and Public Management: The Fear of Discretion and the Quality of Government Performance. Washington, D.C.: The AEI Press.
Kelman, Steven. 2005. Unleashing Change: A Study of Organizational Renewal in Government. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press.
Kettl, Donald F. and John, J. Diulio. 1995. Cutting Government. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution.
Kim, Yong Woon and Brown, Trevor L.. 2012. “The Importance of Contract Design.” Public Administration Review 72 (5): 687–96.
Kim, Yong Woon and Brown, Trevor L.. 2017. “Autonomy versus Control in Procurement and Contracting: The Use of Cost-Reimbursement Contracts in Three U.S. Federal Departments.” Review of Administrative Sciences 83 (1): 4158.
Kriner, Douglas L. and Reeves, Andrew. 2015. The Particularistic President: Executive Branch Politics and Political Inequality. New York: Cambridge University Press.
LaPira, Timothy M. and Thomas, H.F. III. 2012. Revolving Doors: Lobbyists’ Government Experience, Expertise, and Access in Political Context.” Paper presented to the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association.
Ledbetter, James. 2011. Unwarranted Influence: Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Military-Industrial Complex. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Light, Paul C. 1999. The True Size of Government. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press.
Light, Paul C. 2006. “The New True Size of Government.” Organizational Performance Initiative Research Brief 2, New York University.
Manuel, Kate M. 2013. “Responsibility Determinations Under the Federal Acquisition Regulation: Legal Standards and Procedures.” Congressional Research Service R40633, January 4.
Markusen, Ann, Hall, Peter, Campbell, Scott, and Dietrick, Sabina. 1991. The Rise of the Gunbelt: The Military Remapping of Industrial America. New York: Oxford University Press.
Maskell, Jack. 2010. “Post-Employment ‘Revolving-Door’ Laws for Federal Personnel.” Congressional Research Service 97–875, May 12.
McKay, Amy. 2012. “Buying Policy? The Effect of Lobbyists’ Resources on their Policy Success.” Political Research Quarterly 65 (4): 908–23.
McKenna, Christopher D. 2006. The World's Newest Profession: Management Consultancy in the Twentieth Century. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Moretti, Enrico. 2012. The New Geography of Jobs. New York: Houghton Mifflin.
Morgan, Kimberly J. and Louise Campbell, Andrea. 2011. The Delegated Welfare State: Medicare, Markets, and the Governance of Social Policy. New York: Oxford University Press.
Nelson, David and Webb Yackee, Susan. 2012. “Lobbying Coalitions and Government Policy Change.” Journal of Politics 74 (2): 339–53.
Nordhaus, William D. 1975. “The Political Business Cycle.” Review of Economic Studies 42 (2): 1,969–90.
Nownes, Anthony J. and Aitalieva, Nurgul R.. 2012. “The Political Activities of American Corporate Leaders.” Business and Politics 15 (4): 493527.
Porter, Michael E. 1998. “Clusters and the New Economics of Competition.” Harvard Business Review 76 (1): 7790.
Romer, Paul M. 1986. “Increasing Returns and Long-Run Growth.” Journal of Political Economy 94 (5): 1,002–37.
Rosenthal, Stuart S. and Strange, William C.. 2003. “Geography, Industrial Organization, and Agglomeration.” Review of Economics and Statistics 85 (2): 377–93.
Rueda-Benevides, Jorge A. and Ginsberg, Douglas D.. 2014. “Indefinite Delivery-Indefinite Quantity Contracting: A Case Study Analysis.” Transportation Research Record 2408: 1725.
Rundquist, Barry S. and Carsey, Thomas M.. 2002. Congress and Defense Spending: The Distributive Politics of Military Procurement. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press.
Shorrock, Tim. 2005. “The Spy Who Billed Me.” Mother Jones January/February. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2005/01/spy-who-billed-me.
Singer, P.W. 2007. Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry. Ithica, NY: Cornell University Press.
Slavtchev, Viktor and Wiederhold, Simon. 2016. “Does the Technological Content of Government Demand Matter for Private R&D? Evidence from the U.S. States.” American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics 8 (1): 4584.
Snider, Keith F. and Rendon, Rene G.. 2008. “Public Procurement Policy: Implications for Theory and Practice.” Journal of Public Procurement 8 (3): 310–33.
Snider, Keith F. and Rendon, Rene G.. 2012. “Public Procurement: Public Administration and Public Service Perspectives.” Journal of Public Affairs Education 18 (2): 327–48.
Stanger, Allison. 2011. One Nation under Contract: The Outsourcing of American Power and the Future of Foreign Policy. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Taylor, Andrew J. 2010. “Does Presidential Primary and Caucus Order Affect Policy? Evidence from Federal Procurement Spending.” Political Research Quarterly 63 (2): 398409.
Thorpe, Rebecca U. 2014. The American Warfare State: The Domestic Politics of Military Spending. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Tolchin, Martin and Tolchin, Susan J.. 2011. Pinstripe Patronage: Political Favoritism from the Clubhouse to the White House and Beyond. Boulder, CO: Paradigm.
Tripathi, Micky. 2000. “PAC Contributions and Defense Contracting.” Business and Politics 2 (1): 5373.
Tufte, Edward B. 1978. Political Control of the Economy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Wedel, Janine R. 2009. Shadow Elite: How the World's New Power Brokers Undermine Democracy, Government, and the Free Market. New York: Basic Books.
West, Martin R., Henderson, Michael, Peterson, Paul E.. 2012. “The Education Iron Triangle.” The Forum 10: Article 5.
Wright, Austin and Herb, Jeremy. 2015. “The Rise of the ‘Zombie’ Earmark,” Politico. (Accessed on 20 October 2017) http://www.politico.com/story/2015/10/zombie-earmarks-defense-spending-pet-projects-214938.
Wright, Austin and Munsil, Leigh. 2014. “The Shrinking Defense Industry.” Politico. (Accessed on 25 August 2017) http://www.politico.com/story/2014/08/defense-industry-shrinking-110321.
Yackee, Jason Webb and Webb Yackee, Susan. 2006. “A Bias toward Business? Assessing Interest Group Influence on the Bureaucracy.” Journal of Politics 68 (1): 128–39.
Zingales, Luigi. 2012. A Capitalism for the People: Recapturing the Lost Genius of American Prosperity. New York: Basic Books.

Keywords

Related content

Powered by UNSILO

The revolution in federal procurement, 1980–present

  • Andrew J. Taylor

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.