Allison Stanger

Russell J. Leng '60 Professor of International Politics and Economics

Phone: work802.443.5023
Fax: fax802-443-2050
Office Hours: Tuesday 2:00 - 4:00 and by appointment
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Allison Stanger is the Russell Leng ’60 Professor of International Politics and Economics at Middlebury College. Her most recent book, One Nation Under Contract: The Outsourcing of American Power and the Future of Foreign Policy, was published by Yale University Press in fall 2009 (paperback edition came out in January 2011).  Stanger has published op-eds on this topic in the Financial Times, International Herald Tribune, New York Times, and Washington Post, and in 2010 testified before the Commission on Wartime Contracting, the Senate Budget Committee, and the Congressional Oversight Panel. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.  She was also a contributor to the Booz Allen Hamilton project on the World's Most Enduring Institutions, the Woodrow Wilson School Task Force on the Changing Nature of Government Service, and the Princeton Project on National Security.  She has served as an advisor to the Secretary’s Policy Planning Staff, US Department of State and was on the writing team that produced the State Department’s December 2010 Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR).

Stanger received her Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard University. She also holds an AM in Regional Studies-Soviet Union (Harvard), a graduate diploma in Economics (London School of Economics), and a BS in Actuarial Science/Mathematics (Ball State University). She has studied foreign languages and literature at Charles University (Prague), the Sorbonne (Paris), and the Pushkin Institute (Moscow).

Professor Stanger is also the co-editor and co-translator (with Michael Kraus) of Irreconcilable Differences? Explaining Czechoslovakia's Dissolution (foreword by Václav Havel) and the author of numerous articles and essays.  Her research has been funded by the International Relations and Exchanges Board, the National Council for Soviet and East European Research, the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Science Foundation, the Institute for the Study of World Politics, and the MacArthur Foundation. She has been a research fellow at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies (Harvard University), Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education (Prague), the Institute for the Study of the USA and Canada (Moscow), the Brookings Institution (Washington, DC), and the Center for Science and International Affairs (Harvard University).  She has also served as visiting professor of Government at Harvard University.



indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

FYSE 1134 - Empires      

Why do empires rise and fall? Are "democracy" and "empire" always a contradiction in terms? Can imperialism be a good thing? For whom? Drawing on classical and contemporary sources, we will explore the origins and fates of empires from Ancient Greece to the present. We will start by reflecting on why Eurasia dominated the world prior to the twentieth century, rather than the other way around. We will then explore the similarities and differences in both the principles and practices of particular empires, as well as how those characteristics evolved over time. Special attention will be given to Rome, Britain, Austria-Hungary, the Ottomans, Russia/Soviet Union, and the United States. An overarching aim of this seminar is to view the global power of the 21st century United States in proper perspective. 3 hrs. sem.


Fall 2013, Fall 2014

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INTL 0500 - EAS Independent Research      

East Asian Studies Independent Project
(Approval Required)

Winter 2011, Winter 2012

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INTL 0703 - LAS Senior Thesis      

Latin American Studies Senior Thesis
(Approval Required)

Winter 2011, Spring 2011, Winter 2012

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IPEC 0500 - Independent Project      

Independent Project
(Approval Required)

Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Spring 2016

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IPEC 0700 - Intl.Pol.&Economics SR. Thesis      

Senior Thesis
(Approval Required)

Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Spring 2016

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PSCI 0307 - Politics of Virtual Realities      

The Politics of Virtual Realities
How has technology changed our politics? Are those changes all for the good? In this course we will explore the political, legal, and normative implications of the Internet for liberal democracy. We start with the US Constitution and explore arguments that it cannot by itself prevent the Internet from becoming a domain of manipulation rather than of freedom. How can we uphold the ideals of liberty and equality? And, since cyberspace has no country, whose laws should govern it? Cases will include President Obama's campaign and governance strategies, Google's activities abroad, cybersecurity, virtual war, and the WikiLeaks controversy. 3 hrs. lect./disc. (International Relations and Foreign Policy)/


Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2013, Spring 2015

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PSCI 0311 - American Foreign Policy      

American Foreign Policy
Does America exercise its power in the world in a distinctive way? If yes, has it always done so? In this course we will examine the evolution of American foreign policy from the time of the founding to the present. As we make our way from the height of the Cold War to the 21st century, we will assess how leaders, institutions, domestic politics, and the actions and inactions of other countries have shaped American international behavior. Topics considered include terrorism, nuclear proliferation, globalization, democracy promotion, whether the rich US has an obligation to help the less fortunate, how much power the Pentagon should have, what role the private sector can and should play in advancing American interests, and the Bush revolution in foreign policy. A central aim of the course is to map competing perspectives so that the student can draw his or her own political conclusions. 3 hrs. lect./disc. (International Relations and Foreign Policy)/


Fall 2011, Spring 2014, Fall 2014

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PSCI 0324 - Pol Development Western Europe      

The Political Development of Western Europe
In what ways are the political systems and politics of France, Germany, Italy, and Britain similar? In what ways do they differ? How might we explain these patterns? This course attempts to answer these questions through comparative investigation of the processes and consequences of economic and political modernization in these nations from the feudal period to the 21st century. 3 hrs. lect./disc. (Comparative Politics)/


Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2014, Spring 2015

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PSCI 0500 - Independent Project      

Independent Projects
A program of independent work designed to meet the individual needs of advanced students. (Approval required)

Winter 2011, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Spring 2016

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PSCI 0700 - Honors Thesis      

Honors Thesis
(Approval required)

Winter 2011, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Spring 2016

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Curriculum Vitae


Press Release



Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Leaks: The Story of Whistleblowing in America (Yale University Press, under contract).

One Nation Under Contract: The Outsourcing of American Power and the Future of Foreign Policy (Yale University Press, 2009; paperback edition, 2011).

Irreconcilable Differences? Explaining Czechoslovakia's Dissolution (co-edited and co-translated with Michael Kraus), Foreword by Václav Havel (Rowman and Littlefield, 2000).

In development: Consumers Versus Citizens: How the Internet is Remaking American Democracy and Other Things that Matter.


Recent Articles and Book Chapters

“Transparency as a Core Public Value and Mechanism of Compliance,” special issue of Criminal Justice Ethics, forthcoming.

“Contractors’ Wars and the Commission on Wartime Contracting,” in Christopher Kinsey, eds., Contractors and War: The Transformation of United States’ Military and Stabilization Operations (Stanford University Press, 2012).

“Prejudice and the Shadow of the Past in the Emergence of Cooperation,” in I. William Zartman, ed., Explaining Cooperation Among States (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010).

“Guns for Fire,” Foreign Policy, August 18, 2010.

Foreword to Richard Fontaine and John Nagl, Contracting in Conflicts: The Path to Reform, Center for a New American Security, June 2010.

“Addicted to Contractors,” Foreign Policy, December 1, 2009.

“Si e ‘Zbulova’ Unë Qytezën, Vendlindjen e gjyshit tim,” (“Rediscovering the Birthplace of My Grandfather”) in Kostaq Duka, ed., Qyteza dhe Njerëzit e saj (Tirana: Albin, 2008)


Congressional Testimony

Testimony before the Congressional Oversight Panel, “Hearing on Treasury’s Use of Private Contractors”—September 22, 2010


Testimony before the Senate Budget Committee, Hearing on “Responsible Contracting: Modernizing the Business of Government”—July 15, 2010


Testimony before the Commission on Wartime Contracting, Hearing on “Are Private Contractors Performing Inherently Governmental Functions?”—June 18, 2010