Contracting has become one of the tools that governments use to make their services more efficient and effective. This work studies the positives and negatives involved with the multiple elements of contracting. Contract culture is broken down into its many parts: rules and regulations, norms and values, local governments and the private sector. This allows the authors to examine the topic through a unique cross-cultural lens and provide a fresh take on this expanding topic. Sources such as survey data, in-depth case studies, and analysis of advocacy coalitions are used to shed new light on contract governance. Topics include: *Contracting on the Public Agenda. *Limits of the New Contractualism. *The hard and soft elements of contracts. *Local Governments. *Contracting as part of the New Public Management.