Honest threats: The interaction of reputation and political institutions in international crises

Alexandra Guisinger, Alastair Smith

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Traditional arguments that link credibility to a reputation for resolve, power, or strength are contrasted with a model that posits that credibility arises from the expectation of future, continued gains from retaining an honest record. Diplomatic statements are believed only if a country’s or leader’s credibility is unmarred. Leaders keep their word so that they are believed in later crises. Two environments are contrasted: one in which a country’s record for honesty resides within the country as a whole and another in which reputation resides with individual leaders. In this latter case, citizens have an incentive to remove leaders caught bluffing. More robust than previous reputation theories, this model also offers comparative statics for when diplomacy will be more effective - namely, when leaders are domestically accountable.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)175-200
    Number of pages26
    JournalJournal of Conflict Resolution
    Volume46
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Apr 2002

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
    • Sociology and Political Science
    • Political Science and International Relations

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