This grant supports a joint project between the Niskanen Center and the Brookings Institution to reevaluate federal government outsourcing from both conservative and liberal perspectives. Niskanen and Brookings will conduct transpartisan research focused on how decades-long outsourcing of federal government functions has diminished U.S. state capacity and damaged democratic governance. Previous analyses of government failures across both Republican and Democratic administrations have paid insufficient attention to how the growing gap between federal workforce and workload since 1960 has been made up largely by outside contractors, resulting in critical inadequacies in government staffing and state capacity. This study will examine problems and consequences of outsourcing, and propose practical remedies, by addressing fundamental research questions that would benefit most from even-handed approaches by both left and right.
About the Grantee
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Grants to this Grantee
for the Climate and Struggling Regions programs
The Niskanen Center approaches pressing problems with policy solutions that are innovative, practical, and relevant to the current moment. The organization pursues a research agenda to identify chokepoints to decarbonization and economic health for struggling communities, designs policy options to overcome them, and methodically and energetically promotes its research and proposals to policymakers and governing elites in Washington, D.C. This grant supports both Niskanen’s Climate and Struggling Regions programs. (Substrategy: U.S. National Policy).
for general operating support
The Niskanen Center works to advance an open society by active engagement in the war of ideas, direct engagement in the policymaking process, and through the courts with amicus briefs and pro bono representation. It develops policy proposals, mobilizes other groups to support those proposals, promotes those ideas to legislative and executive decision makers, builds short- and longer-term coalitions to facilitate joint action, establishes strong working relationships with allied legislative and executive branch actors, and marshals the most convincing arguments and information in support of its agenda. In late 2021 the Niskanen Center launched a new State Capacity Project to investigate and suggest remedies for the declining quality of public administration in the United States in recent decades.