Defense Appropriations: The Process, Politics, and National Security Implications
Hagner, Richard Edwin
The defense appropriations process is an understudied portion of American politics despite its importance for domestic and international politics. Much of this neglect is due to a lack of access to the process and those who influence it. As a result, most of the work on appropriations and budgetary politics black-boxes defense appropriations, missing opportunities to better understand and apply theories important to political scientists. This dissertation explores the politics of the process and identifies mechanisms that lead to defense appropriations outcomes. These outcomes have significant electoral and national security implications. In the following chapters, I explore political aspects of the defense appropriations process that are often overlooked in existing research. These considerations -- how decisions are made throughout the process, the ability of elites to influence public support for defense spending, and the oversight role of Congress -- all illuminate aspects of defense appropriations and provide new avenues to apply and test our understanding of politics. The major contribution of this research is that it presents a unique and complicated process in a way that is understandable, comprehensive, and illustrative, thus identifying a largely untapped portion of politics in which spending and policy decision are made.