Recently, I've been thinking about the subject of this article. What implicit authority do ambassadors and representatives of alliances have when speaking to foreign alliances? This may seem at first trivial, but it's actually quite important. It matters when it comes to alliances' responsibility for what their representatives say. Here we will delve into this question and attempt to work out an answer.
All authority is either explicit or implicit. Explicit authority is that which is granted directly by someone with the legitimate ability to do so. But explicit authority is easily revoked and in any event, it isn't the kind of authority that usually gets anyone into trouble because it is so clearly defined by its very nature. There isn't much room for error.
Implicit authority on the other hand is much murkier. It isn't based on the decrees of another (organization or individual) but rather on the context of both the position a person holds and other factors such as a given situation. While it can vary depending on situation, what will be discussed here is the minimum level of implicit authority representatives can be assumed to have because without it their jobs would effectively be impossible or at least unreasonably difficult.
So what is this minimum amount of implicit authority representatives are vested with? Well it is reasonable to figure all representatives are plenipotentiaries. A plenipotentiary is an individual who has the authority to speak on behalf of the sovereign (i.e., the State or, in the case of CN, the Alliance). Of course, this is not entirely true. For example, we rarely think of alliance members who serve as representatives as implicitly holding the power to negotiate or sign treaties, declare war, make peace, or do any of the more high level actions alliances are capable of performing. That said, while representatives may not ordinarily have the authority to do these things, they can certainly speak (but not act) on behalf of their alliances. Their alliance has sent them to represent it to another, and if the receiving alliance cannot take what this person says as representative of the alliance, why would it even bother to talk with said person in any official capacity. The sending alliance then may as well have not sent this person at all because without the authority to speak on behalf of their alliance, which is the whole point of sending representatives, the person cannot do her job.
So onto why this matters. Because representatives are speaking for their alliances, their alliances can be held responsible for anything that they say to a foreign alliance. Of course, an alliance can revoke its representatives' authority to speak for it, but it is responsible for anything said before that point. Responsibility is a measure of how much praise or blame a person deserves for words or actions, and if alliances are not responsible for what their representatives say, then what their representatives say is trivial and pointless. They may be nominally speaking on behalf of their alliance but it isn't substantive speech. If representatives cannot engage in substantive speech, they cannot do their jobs as substantive speech is the only kind that matters to the receiving alliance. Niceties and basic polite conversation are fine, but in order to engage with an alliance through its representatives (which is the whole point of receiving and talking to representatives), representatives must be capable of saying things that genuinely mean something, and how can anything they say mean anything for relations between alliances if one alliance is wholly removed from anything that is said? The answer is that it can't.
Representatives must be capable of speaking on behalf of their alliances to do their job, and speaking on an alliance's behalf necessarily entails that the alliance can be held responsible for what is said in its name, for good or for bad, for praise or for blame.