The United States Constitution requires the government "to provide for the common defense." As a prime topic featured prominently throughout the legislative blueprint of American society, the "common defense" is conspicuously uncommon in today's policy scholarship and education. Ironically, the policy discipline largely ignores defense issues despite defense serving as the catalyst for establishing policy studies as an academic field in the 1940s. Through decades of military conflict since and obvious relevance to practitioner behavior, defense issues remain ironically absent the public policy scholarly landscape and are instead hosted primarily within strategic and security studies mediums. This article offers an historical examination of the evolution, development, and scholarly shifts in defense policy over time. It also presents perceived reasons for the lack of defense policy dialogue, recommends approaches to reintegrate the topic back into the scholarly discourse, and concludes arguing defense policy warrants greater attention in academic scholarship and teaching.


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pp. 205-229
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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