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Table 1.

Summary of Reliability, Deterrence Theory, and Reputation-Skeptic Expectations

ReliabilityDeterrence TheorySkeptic (Mercer)
Are alliances interdependent? yes yes sometimes 
What do observers want to see? behavior suggesting reliability (convergent interests) loyal behavior loyal behavior 
What is the result of loyal behavior? varies: depends on observer's interests (not on reputation) reputation for loyalty, which can strengthen other alliances no result: loyalty attributed to situation 
What is the result of disloyal behavior? varies: depends on observer's interests (not on reputation) reputation for disloyalty, which can damage other alliances reputation for disloyalty, which can damage other alliances 
ReliabilityDeterrence TheorySkeptic (Mercer)
Are alliances interdependent? yes yes sometimes 
What do observers want to see? behavior suggesting reliability (convergent interests) loyal behavior loyal behavior 
What is the result of loyal behavior? varies: depends on observer's interests (not on reputation) reputation for loyalty, which can strengthen other alliances no result: loyalty attributed to situation 
What is the result of disloyal behavior? varies: depends on observer's interests (not on reputation) reputation for disloyalty, which can damage other alliances reputation for disloyalty, which can damage other alliances 
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