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Reputation for ResolveHow Leaders Signal Determination in International Politics$
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Danielle L. Lupton

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501747717

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501747717.001.0001

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Why Leaders and Their Reputations for Resolve Matter

(p.1) Introduction
(p.iii) Reputation for Resolve

Danielle L. Lupton

Cornell University Press

This introductory chapter provides an overview of reputation for resolve and why leaders care about their reputations. Leaders worry about their reputations for resolve because they believe certain reputations, such as a reputation for irresolute action, will make them and their states more vulnerable to international threats; but other reputations, such as a reputation for resolute action, will make them and their states more secure. While reputations are perceptions actors hold about each other, resolve is about an actor's determination, “firmness, or steadfastness of purpose.” Reputation for resolve, therefore, is the belief others hold about an actor's willingness to stand firm and face costs, based on that actor's past behavior. Reputations for resolve can help explain when international crises and disputes start, which actors are most likely to face international threats, and who will win international conflicts. The chapter then looks at the debate on how much reputations matter in international politics.

Keywords:   international politics, political reputation, political leaders, political resolve, international crises, international disputes, international threats, international conflicts

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