Reliability, Reputation, and Alliance Formation

Mark J C Crescenzi, Jacob D. Kathman, Katja B. Kleinberg, Reed Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


In this paper, we examine how the past alliance behavior of nations affects the likelihood that these states will be involved in alliance formation. We contend that nations evaluate the reputations of potential allies when searching for alliance partners. Reputation information is processed by governments along with other immediate concerns. By introducing a model and developing subsequent measures of reputational alliance histories, we improve upon our current understanding of the factors that drive alliance formation. Using alliance reputation data derived from the ATOP project (1816-2000), we find support for the hypothesis that a reputation for upholding one's agreements significantly improves the likelihood of membership in future alliances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-274
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Studies Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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