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Who Fights for Reputation$
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Keren Yarhi-Milo

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691181288

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691181288.001.0001

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Ronald Reagan and the Fight against Communism

Ronald Reagan and the Fight against Communism

(p.172) 7 Ronald Reagan and the Fight against Communism
Who Fights for Reputation

Keren Yarhi-Milo

Princeton University Press

This chapter assesses the extent to which reputational concerns shaped President Ronald Reagan's discourse, decision making, and policies during international crises. It focuses on four of these international crises: the escalation in Afghanistan, the intervention in Lebanon, the invasion of Grenada, and the air strikes against Libya. Each posed a challenge, real or perceived, to US reputation for resolve and so are good tests of the dispositional theory. A review of Reagan's self-monitoring tendencies and beliefs about the use of force place him closest to the ideal-type high self-monitor hawk, and thus, one should expect his behavior to be consistent with that of a reputation crusader. However, his behavior and discourse during the crises covered cannot be convincingly explained simply by highlighting his hawkish tendencies. In order to fully appreciate Reagan's policies, rhetoric, and state of mind, one must look at how these hawkish tendencies interacted with his high self-monitoring disposition.

Keywords:   Ronald Reagan, international crises, US reputation, dispositional theory, self-monitoring, reputation crusader, use of force, decision making

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