- Published online: 24 Mar 2015
Public administration scholarship tends to assume a broad, underlying consensus on the elements of good governance, including the legitimacy of public values, authority, and action, as well as the presence of opportunities, incentives, and motivations for individual and institutional change. The tenor and trajectory of American public life, however, especially as expressed in the outsourcing of national security, belie such a shared perspective. This essay, therefore, examines the concepts and conflicts embedded in the national security environment via a consideration of public value perspectives, public values and public management, and the key literature on national security outsourcing. Finally, with an eye toward possible change, the essay concludes with a recommendation for empirical, as well as normative, multidisciplinary, and multinational research projects, in order to advance our understanding of national security outsourcing and to promote an advocacy and action reform agenda.