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 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).

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

Julia Grauvogel / Hana Attia

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

GIGA Working Paper, No. 320, January 2020