Julia Grauvogel

Regional Sanctions against Burundi: A Powerful Campaign and Its Unintended Consequences

GIGA Working Paper, No. 255, September 2014

Sanktionen sind ein wesentliches Instrument der internationalen Politik, erzeugen aber häufig Gegenaktionen der betroffenen Regierung. So auch in Burundi - mit unerwarteten Folgen, zeigt Julia Grauvogel.

This paper examines the impact of regionally imposed sanctions on the trajectory of the Burundian regime and its involvement in the peace process following the 1996 coup in the country. Despite the country’s socioeconomic and geopolitical vulnerability, the Buyoya government withstood the pressure from the sanctions. Through a vocal campaign against these sanctions, the new government mitigated the embargo’s economic consequences and partially reestablished its international reputation. Paradoxically, this campaign planted the seed for comprehensive political concessions in the long term. While previous literature has attributed the sanctions’ success in pressuring the government into negotiations to their economic impact, the government actually responded to the sanction senders’ key demand to engage in unconditional, inclusive peace talks under the auspices of the regional mediator once the economy had already started to recover. The regime’s anti‐sanctions campaign, with its emphasis on the government’s willingness to engage in peace talks, backfired, with Buyoya forced to negotiate after having become entrapped in his own rhetoric.

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Dr. Julia Grauvogel

Senior Research Fellow
Speaker Research Team

Dr. Julia Grauvogel is a research fellow at the GIGA Institute of African Affairs. She is a member of the Leibniz Association–funded research network “International Diffusion and Cooperation of Authoritarian Regimes” (IDCAR) and spokesperson for the Research Team “Interventions and Security” within GIGA Research Programme 2, “Peace and Security.” Her work focuses on authoritarianism, legitimations strategies of non-democratic regimes, and international sanctions.

Recent Publications by the Authors

Julia Grauvogel / Hana Attia

How do international sanctions end? Towards a process-oriented, relational, and signaling perspective

Zeitschrift für Internationale Beziehungen, forthcoming

Julia Grauvogel / Christian von Soest

Identity, procedures and performance: how authoritarian regimes legitimize their rule

in: Alexander Dukalskis / Johannes Gerschewski (eds.), Justifying Dictatorship: Studies in Autocratic Legitimation, Routledge, 2018, 37-55

Julia Grauvogel

Konfliktporträt Burundi

Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, 2018

Julia Grauvogel / Christian von Soest

Sanktionen als Instrument der Konfliktbearbeitung

Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, 2018