Rediscovering Reputation Through Theory and Evidence
- Mark J. C. CrescenziMark J. C. CrescenziDepartment of Political Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- and Bailee DonahueBailee DonahueDepartment of Political Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Reputation as it applies to the arena of international relations is information adhering to a state or its leaders about behavioral or intentional characteristics relating to cooperation or conflict. The study of reputation in world politics has waxed and waned in recent decades, but is enjoying a renaissance both in terms of theoretical and empirical analysis. We review the origins of the study of reputation in world politics, as well as the post-Cold War context that contributed to reputation’s apparent demise. We then focus on the recent rediscovery of reputation through the development of new theoretical and empirical analyses. These works have overcome earlier challenges to the conceptualization and measurement of reputation to improve our understanding of how this phenomenon affects coordination, cooperation, and conflict among and between states in the international arena.