Press Release | 10/10/2023

Sanctions – New Book on Their Usefulness for International Politics

The effectiveness of sanctions remains controversial. In his new book, Christian von Soest takes up this debate. He analyses the use of the instrument in international politics and offers guidelines and recommendations for Europe and Germany regarding the imposition of such punitive measures in the future.

  • Hamburg, 11 October 2023 – Since Russia's attack on Ukraine and the crackdown on protests in Iran, the issue of sanctions has been back in the public eye. Europe, the United States, and their partners are taking unprecedentedly tough action and breaking new ground with their sanctions policy. Sanctions have long been an established tool of international politics, and the emerging powers are increasingly resorting to them too. But how effective are sanctions in reality? Are they more than symbolic politics? And, if so, what risks and side effects do they have for the target country – but also for us in Germany? Political scientist Christian von Soest, Lead Research Fellow at the German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA), has been researching this topic for more than ten years now. In his book Sanctions: Powerful Weapon or Helpless Maneuver? he shows in a well-founded, generally understandable way and with the help of numerous current and historical examples the possibilities and pitfalls of this central instrument of power in international politics in the twenty-first century. A look towards what lies ahead is offered too: How will sanctions be used in the future? The book presents guidelines and recommendations for Europe and Germany regarding the imposition of such punitive measures going forward. The book also addresses in separate chapters pressing current issues such as:

    • Circumvention of Russia-related sanctions

    • The “new” covert sanctioning power of China

    Monograph | Frankfurter Allgemeine Buch | 10/2023

    Sanktionen: Mächtige Waffe oder hilfloses Manöver?

    „Sanktionen“ stellt fundiert, verständlich und anschaulich die Möglichkeiten und Fallstricke dieses zentralen Machtinstruments der internationalen Politik im 21. Jahrhundert vor und gibt einen Blick in die Zukunft: Wie werden Sanktionen künftig eingesetzt? Das Buch stellt Maßstäbe vor, die Europa und Deutschland bei der Verhängung ihrer Strafmaßnahmen in Zukunft leiten sollten.

    To the reading sample (in German)


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