Reputation for Resolve | 2020 | Events

Reputation for Resolve: How Leaders Signal Determination in International Politics
Danielle Lupton
Danielle Lupton
Colgate University
November 4, 2020
Virtual event


How do reputations form in international politics? What influence do these reputations have over the conduct of international affairs? In Reputation for Resolve (Cornell University Press, 2020), Danielle Lupton takes a new approach to answering these enduring and hotly debated questions by shifting the focus away from the reputations of states and instead examining the reputations of individual world leaders. Using innovative survey experiments and in-depth archival research into American-Soviet relations, Lupton shows that leaders acquire personal reputations for resolve based on their foreign policy statements and behavior. She demonstrates that statements create expectations of how a leader will react to foreign policy crises in the future. How leaders follow up their early statements of resolve with concrete action critically affects whether they are perceived as resolute or irresolute. Leaders who fail to meet expectations of resolute action face harsh reputational consequences that affect their ability to achieve their foreign policy goals. Reputation for Resolve challenges the often-publicized view that reputations do not matter in international politics. In sharp contrast, Lupton shows that the reputations of individual leaders influence the strategies statesmen pursue during diplomatic interactions and crises. Thus, Lupton demonstrates that reputations for resolve do exist and influence the conduct of international security. As a whole, Reputation for Resolve reframes our understanding of the influence of leaders and their rhetoric on crisis bargaining and the role reputations play in international politics.


Danielle Lupton (PhD, Duke University) is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Colgate University. She is also Co-Editor of International Studies Perspectives. Her research investigates the impact of individual leaders on international security and conflict, with a special interest in how leaders use the tools of coercion to achieve their foreign policy goals and how the backgrounds of leaders influence their policy preferences. Dr. Lupton's book Reputation for Resolve: How Leaders Signal Determination in International Politics (Cornell University Press, 2020) examines how new leaders establish reputations for resolve through their statements and behavior. Her research is also published in Political Analysis, International Interactions, Political Research Quarterly, the Journal of Global Security Studies, and Ethics & International Affairs.