Roseanne McManus


Statements of Resolve: Achieving Coercive Credibility in International Conflict. 2017. Cambridge University Press.

Available from Cambridge University Press and Amazon.

Cover of my book

Statements of resolve – in which leaders indicate that their country is committed to a position and will not back down – are a fixture of international conflict. However, scholars have not agreed on how much these statements affect conflict outcomes or which conditions give them coercive credibility. This book argues that an important and underappreciated factor influencing the impact of resolved statements is the ability to follow through. The author explains how adversaries analyze a leader’s ability to follow through on statements and shows that perceptions of the ability to follow through are influenced not only by military capabilities, but also by less obvious domestic political conditions. Through rigorous statistical tests based on quantitative coding of US presidential statements and case studies of three Cold War conflicts, this book shows that resolved statements can effectively coerce adversaries, but only when a sufficient physical and political ability to follow through is present.


Winner of the ISA Foreign Policy Analysis Section 2019 Best Book Award and honorable mention for the APSA Conflict Processes Section 2018 Best Book Award. Reviewed in Perspectives on Politics.

Click here to view the book appendix and replication data and here to view the statement text files.



McManus, Roseanne W. Forthcoming. “Revisiting the Madman Theory: Evaluating the Impact of Different Forms of Perceived Madness in Coercive Bargaining.” Security Studies 28(5).


Palmer, Glenn, Vito D'Orazio, Michael R. Kenwick, and Roseanne W. McManus. Forthcoming. “Updating the Militarized Interstate Dispute Data: A Response to Gibler, Miller, and Little.” International Studies Quarterly.


McManus, Roseanne W., and Mark David Nieman. 2019. “Identifying Major Power Support Signaled for Protégés: A Latent Measure Approach.” Journal of Peace Research 56(3):364-378.


McManus, Roseanne W. 2018. “Making It Personal: The Role of Leader-Specific Signals in Extended Deterrence.” Journal of Politics 80(3):982-995.


McManus, Roseanne W., and Keren Yarhi-Milo. 2017. “The Logic of 'Offstage' Signaling: Domestic Politics, Regime Type, and Major Power-Protégé Relations.” International Organization 71(4):701-733.


McManus, Roseanne W. 2017. “The Impact of Context on the Ability of Leaders to Signal Resolve.” International Interactions 43(3):453-479.


Kydd, Andrew H., and Roseanne W. McManus. 2017. “Threats and Assurances in Crisis Bargaining.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 61(2):325-348.


McManus, Roseanne W. 2014. “Fighting Words: The Effectiveness of Statements of Resolve in International Conflict.” Journal of Peace Research 51(6):726-740.


Working Papers

“Crazy like a Fox? Are Leaders Perceived as Mentally Unstable More Successful at Coercion?”