International Sanctions

Authored by: Olivier Schmitt

Routledge Handbook of Security Studies

Print publication date:  July  2016
Online publication date:  July  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138803930
eBook ISBN: 9781315753393
Adobe ISBN: 9781317620921


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International sanctions have become a commonly used tool of statecraft on the international stage. The most comprehensive database compiling sanctions ‘episodes’ since 1914 notes that their number has nearly doubled in two decades, from 103 in 1985 to 204 in 2007 (Hufbauer et al. 2008). The growing importance of sanctions has generated a number of debates in scholarly and policy circles, the most famous asking whether economic sanctions ‘work’ or not. Other sub-debates have emerged over time, including the effectiveness of multilaterally imposed sanction regimes compared with unilateral sanctions, the right mixture of comprehensiveness and accuracy in selecting the targets of the sanction episode, or the unintended (and potentially counterproductive) effects of sanctions (Andreas 2005).

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