New Look Constitutionalism: The Cold War Critique of Military Manpower Administration

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By reconstructing the anxious, constitutional dialogue that shaped the administration of military manpower under President Eisenhower’s New Look, this Article explores the role that administrative constitutionalism played in the development of the American national‐security state, a state that became both more powerful and more legalistic during the pivotal years of the Cold War. The Article also questions the frequent identification of administrative constitutionalism with the relative autonomy and opacity of the federal bureaucracy. The back‐and‐forth of administrative constitutionalism continually recalibrated the degree of autonomy and opacity that characterized the draft apparatus. This evidence suggests that bureaucratic autonomy and opacity may be more usefully understood as products, rather than preconditions, of administrative constitutionalism.

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