The Shadow of the Past
Reputation and Military Alliances before the First World War
Publication Year: 2012
In The Shadow of the Past, Gregory D. Miller examines the role that reputation plays in international politics, emphasizing the importance of reliability-confidence that, based on past political actions, a country will make good on its promises-in the formation of military alliances. Challenging recent scholarship that focuses on the importance of credibility-a state's reputation for following through on its threats-Miller finds that reliable states have much greater freedom in forming alliances than those that invest resources in building military force but then use it inconsistently.
To explore the formation and maintenance of alliances based on reputation, Miller draws on insights from both political science and business theory to track the evolution of great power relations before the First World War. He starts with the British decision to abandon "splendid isolation" in 1900 and examines three crises--the First Moroccan Crisis (1905-6), the Bosnia-Herzegovina Crisis (1908-9), and the Agadir Crisis (1911)-leading up to the war. He determines that states with a reputation for being a reliable ally have an easier time finding other reliable allies, and have greater autonomy within their alliances, than do states with a reputation for unreliability. Further, a history of reliability carries long-term benefits, as states tend not to lose allies even when their reputation declines.
Published by: Cornell University Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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Figures and Tables
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This book is the product of many years of work. The argument began as a seminar paper for Randall Schweller’s International Security course at The Ohio State University, evolved into a dissertation, was sounded out early on in a journal article, “Hypotheses on Reputation: Alliance Choices and the Shadow of the Past,” Security Studies 12, no. 3 (Spring 2003), 40–78, ...
1Alliances and Reputationin International Relations
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Worry more about your character than your reputation. Character It is widely accepted in business that a positive reputation is a valu-able commodity, both for individuals and for fi rms, and there is signifi cant evidence to support this view. Individual reputations, often measured in the form of a credit report, infl uence whether someone will qualify for a ...
2Reliability and Alliance Behavior
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We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others In the opening chapter I detailed how scholars have dealt with reputa-tion, and I explored some of the major theories of alliance behavior. I also explained how the business literature treats the effects of a fi rm’s reputation on its success and have suggested that the infl uence of a fi rm’s reputation ...
3The End of Splendid Isolation
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Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for ‘tis better to be alone than in bad company. Robert Cecil, the Marquis of Salisbury Prime Minister (1895–1902) Britain’s attitude toward the European Continent at the end of the nine-teenth century is often described as one of “splendid isolation.” This is an ...
4The First Moroccan Crisis
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France signed an entente with England on 8 April 1904 to increase French control over Morocco. Between 1900 and 1904, the French negotiated similar agreements with Italy and Spain. 1 For example, France agreed to accept Ital-ian rights in Tripoli in exchange for Italy accepting French control over Mo-rocco (and an Italian promise that the Triple Alliance did not pose a threat ...
5The Bosnia-Herzegovina Crisis
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A reputation once broken may possibly be repaired, but the world 4 November 1910–19 August 1911 Potsdam convention (Russia and Considerable diplomatic activity took place between the 1905 First Moroc-can Crisis and the 1908–9 Bosnia-Herzegovina Crisis: the Triple Alliance was tacitly renewed; England and Russia signed an agreement that ef-...
6The Agadir Crisis
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Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg State Secretary for the Interior 1. A. J. Taylor, The Struggle for Mastery in Europe, 1848–1918 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2. “Capture of Fez Reported in Spain,” New York Times, 22 April 1911. 3. “Action in Morocco Urgent, Says France,” New York Times, 28 April 1911. ...
7Summary and Expansionof Findings
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The puzzle posed at the beginning of this book was whether a state’s reputation infl uences the behavior of other states, given the differences be-tween the conventional wisdom and more critical scholarship on reputation published in the 1990s and the fi rst decade of the twenty-fi rst century. The general argument of this book is that states with reputations for being reli-...
Appendix AFirst Treaty of Alliance between Austria-Hungary, Germany, and Italy, 20 May 1882
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Appendix BThe Anglo-Japanese Alliance,30 January 1902
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Appendix CDeclaration between the UnitedKingdom and France RespectingEgypt and Morocco, 8 April 1904
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Appendix DThe Second Anglo-Japanese Agreement,12 August 1905
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Appendix EConventions between Russia and the UnitedKingdom Relating to Persia, Afghanistan,and Tibet, 31 August 1907
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Page Count: 234
Publication Year: 2012
Series Title: Cornell studies in security affairs