The essay is part of a new edited collection, Government by Contract: Outsourcing and American Democracy, edited by Jody Freeman and Martha Minow and published by Harvard University Press.
Dickinson focuses on the threat to public values created by the use of private security contractors, and argues that we might use actual contractual provisions in the outsourcing contracts to help re-import these core values.
Dickinson's work focuses on human rights, national security, foreign affairs privatization, and qualitative empirical approaches to international law. She is currently working on a monograph, Outsourcing War and Peace, to be published by Yale University Press. The book examines the increasing privatization of military, security, and foreign aid functions of government, considers the impact of this trend on core public values, and outlines mechanism for protecting these values in an era of privatization. Dickinson is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law, and co-organizer of a Collaborative Research Network on Empirical Approaches to International Human Rights Law, convened under the auspices of the Law & Society Association.