Reputation And International Politics (Cornell Studies in Security Affairs)

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9780801474897: Reputation And International Politics (Cornell Studies in Security Affairs)
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By approaching an important foreign policy issue from a new angle, Jonathan Mercer comes to a startling, controversial discovery: a nation's reputation is not worth fighting for. He presents the most comprehensive examination to date of what defines a reputation, when it is likely to emerge in international politics, and with what consequences. Mercer examines reputation formation in a series of crises before World War I. He tests competing arguments, one from deterrence theory, the other from social psychology, to see which better predicts and explains how reputations form. Extending his findings to address recent crises such as the Gulf War, he also considers how culture, gender, and nuclear weapons affect reputation. Throughout history, wars have been fought in the name of reputation. Mercer rebuts this politically powerful argument, shows that reputations form differently than we thought, and offers policy advice to decision-makers.

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Review:

"A book full of fascinating and suggestive insights into the cognitive processes relevant to international relations."

Author: Steve Rosen Source: American Political Science Review

"Mercer's argument is a welcome addition to the theoretical literature because it represents the first clear statement of a non-rational, choice-based theory of reputations."

Author: Paul Huth Source: Security Studies

"Mercer's startling challenge to accepted wisdom deserves wide attention."

Author: Patrick Morgan Source: The Mershon Review

"This imaginative and provocative book is an important contribution to a long-neglected question and is essential reading for any historian or international relations theorist interested in the role of reputation in international politics."

Author: Jack Levy Source: International History Review

"This excellent book is well written, detailed, and thought-provoking."

Source: Choice

About the Author:

Jonathan Mercer is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Washington.

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