Julia Grauvogel / Hana Attia

How Do International Sanctions End? Towards a Process-Oriented, Relational, and Signalling Perspective

GIGA Working Paper, No. 320, January 2020

Abstract
Research on sanctions has hitherto focused on their implementation and effectiveness, whereas the termination of such measures has received only little attention. The traditional model, which looks at sanctions and their removal in terms of rational, interstate bargaining, focuses on how cost–benefit calculations affect the duration and termination of such measures. Yet, this research insufficiently captures the back and forth between easing sanctions, stagnation, and renewed intensification. It also fails to account for the multifaceted social relations between senders, targets, and third actors that shape these termination processes, as well as for the signalling dimension of ending sanctions – not least because existing datasets tend to operationalise sanctions as a single event. To help fill these gaps, the paper proposes a process-oriented and relational understanding that also recognises how sanctions termination conveys the message of ending the visible disapproval of the target, which may be heavily contested. Case studies on Zimbabwe and Iran illustrate how such an approach sheds light on the different logics of action that shape processes of sanctions termination, and thereby contributes to a more holistic understanding of sanctions in general.

Related Research at the GIGA

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GIGA Authors

Dr. Julia Grauvogel

Senior Research Fellow
Speaker Research Team

Dr. Julia Grauvogel is a senior research fellow at the GIGA Institute for African Affairs. She is also the spokesperson for the GIGA Research Team “Interventions and Security,” as well as editor of the journal Africa Spectrum. Her work focuses on authoritarianism, the legitimation strategies of non-democratic regimes, and international sanctions. Currently, she heads the research project “The Termination of International Sanctions: Causes, Processes and Domestic Consequences,” funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation, DFG).

Hana Attia

Research Fellow / Doctoral Student

Hana Attia, MA, is a research fellow at the GIGA Institute for African Affairs. She is also a PhD candidate at the University of Konstanz (GSDS), as well as a member of the GIGA Doctoral Programme. Her research interests include international sanctions, human rights, and authoritarian regimes. At the GIGA, she works within the research project “The Termination of International Sanctions: Causes, Processes and Domestic Consequences,” funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft).

Recent Publications by the Authors

Julia Grauvogel

The Internal Opposition Effect of International Sanctions: Insights from a Qualitative Comparative Analysis

in: (ed.), Research Handbook on Economic Sanctions, Edward Elgar Publishing, forthcoming

Hana Attia / Julia Grauvogel / Christian von Soest

The Termination of International Sanctions: Explaining Target Compliance and Sender Capitulation

European Economic Review, 129, 2020

Gesine Ames / Julia Grauvogel

Burundi before the Elections: Continuity instead of Change

GIGA Focus Africa, 04/2020

Julia Grauvogel / Navin Bapat / Bryan Early / Katja B. Kleinberg

The Design and Enforcement of Economic Sanctions

International Studies Perspectives, online first, 2020

Hana Attia / Julia Grauvogel

Easier In Than Out: The Protracted Process of Ending Sanctions

GIGA Focus Global, 05/2019