I will be discussing things that are very obvious to me, yet I have not seen people spend much time discussing. Throughout my CN experience I've been very involved, at some points, in every aspect of the alliance except foreign policy (which I agree is a very important part). Thus you may see that my posts tend to shy away from mentioning any foreign policy, but they should offer a fresh perspective from someone who is less interested in interalliance politics.
In this first post we will discuss the fundamentals of alliancehood.
Fundamentals of Alliancehood
There are two values that members expect when they join an alliance. Since the collective goals of the members are more important than the goals of the alliance as an entity, an alliance's success can be measured by how much it adhered, both in attempt and in reality, to these values.
1. Membership Safety Net
The Membership Safety Net is the most important value expected of an alliance. It is the ability of the alliance to stand up for individual members, even when they make mistakes (in other words, the alliance breaks the responsibility when the individual does something undesirable). For example, in dealing with foreign powers, the diplomats seek the best interest of preserving all the members of his original alliance, even if this means asking other members to pay reparations. This value is breached when an alliance expels one of its own members for a reason other than to preserve the safety net over its other members. In other words, if there exists an alternative where an alliance can retain all its members, the expulsion of any member indicates a breach of this value.
This value is supplemented in most alliances by the forming of a community, in which each member becomes a unique character and valued as a member of the community. By tying the loss of a member with a loss for the community, the community's interests become aligned with this value.
2. Physical Protection
The alliance is expected to protect the properties of its members, including nation stats (like infra, soldiers, land, tech) and nation trades. If this is successfully achieved, an alliance's nations will grow. Alliances will do this in different ways. Some alliances seek to become the hegemony or to join blocs that maneuver themselves into hegemonic positions, because it is better for them to be on the winning side than the losing side of any conflicts. Other alliances may become neutral or maneuver themselves into blocs that are more defensive or stay out of radar, so that its members can grow in peace.
So, it can be argued that all things alliances are expected to do are a means of improving one of these two values.
By examining how well alliances prioritized these values (in their respective order), we can see how and why certain alliances failed in time (such as The Dark Evolution) and certain alliances have lasted and stood the test of time (such as GPA and TOP).