Sanctions

Economic sanctions have become one of the most popular foreign policy tools for addressing a wide range of international challenges including conflict, human rights violations, terrorism, and nuclear proliferation. The US sanctions against Iran or the European sanctions against Russia exemplify the wide use of this instrument.


  • GIGA Talk | 03/06/2021

    Cyber Sanctions: Increasing Application of the New Instrument

    In this GIGA Talk, we will talk about the both opportunities and risks of cyber sanctions and discuss how greater cooperation between the EU, the US, and the United Nations could combat malicious hacking attacks.

    GIGA Focus Global | 3/2021

    Cyber Sanctions: Increasing Application of a New Instrument

    Hacker attacks on states and international organisations are increasingly answered with cyber sanctions. Dr Julia Grauvogel and Dr Christian von Soest compare the international use of the new instrument in Focus Global 04/2021 and show which steps could make the measures more effective.

    Dr. Julia Grauvogel

    Senior Research Fellow / Speaker Research Team

    Dr. Christian von Soest

    Lead Research Fellow / Head of RP 2

    Research Project | 01/08/2018 - 31/07/2021

    The Termination of International Sanctions: Causes, Processes and Domestic Consequences

    Sanctions termination has become a ubiquitous phenomenon in international politics. Controversies about cases such as Cuba, Iran, Russia, and Zimbabwe exemplify the contested nature of policy debates about the termination of sanctions. Yet, research has focused on sanctions’ implementation and effectiveness, directing little attention towards their removal. This project examines the causes, processes, and consequences of ending sanctions. It combines cross-national analyses based on the first global dataset on sanctions termination with in-depth case studies covering different regions.
    DFG, 2018-2021

    Dr. Julia Grauvogel

    Senior Research Fellow / Speaker Research Team

    Hana Attia

    Doctoral Researcher

    European Economic Review | 08/2020

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

    In this paper, we draw on studies analyzing the varying duration of sanctions to examine under which conditions they end. In contrast to prior research that has mostly treated the end of sanctions as a single category, our analysis disaggregates sanctions termination by target compliance and sender capitulation.

    NZZ | Interview | 29/03/2021

    «Die idealen Sanktionen gibt es nicht»

    Dr. Julia Grauvogel

    Senior Research Fellow / Speaker Research Team

    CESifo Forum | 2019

    Individual Sanctions: Toward a New Research Agenda

    We still lack fundamental knowledge about the selection criteria and indeed the effects of this important subcategory of economic sanctions. In response, this article sets out to provide the basis for a new research agenda that focuses on the speci ficities of individual sanctions.

    Dr. Christian von Soest

    Lead Research Fellow / Head of RP 2

    GIGA Focus Global | 5/2019

    Easier In Than Out: The Protracted Process of Ending Sanctions

    Since the end of the Cold War, not only the imposition but also the lifting of sanctions has become a ubiquitous phenomenon in international politics. This GIGA Focus Global discusses the protracted termination of sanctions.

    Dr. Julia Grauvogel

    Senior Research Fellow / Speaker Research Team

    Hana Attia

    Doctoral Researcher

    GIGA Working Papers | 01/2020

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

    Sanctions research has so far focused on their implementation and effectiveness, while the termination of such measures has received little attention. This article proposes a process-oriented and relational understanding that takes into account the multi-layered social relations between actors.

    Dr. Julia Grauvogel

    Senior Research Fellow / Speaker Research Team

    Hana Attia

    Doctoral Researcher


    Research Project | 01/01/2022 - 30/06/2023

    Sanctions Termination in Times of Crises: Unpacking the Role of External Shocks

    In March 2020, the UN Secretary-General called for the easing of sanctions against Iran in response to COVID-19. Hence, external shocks are potentially related to sanctions termination. Yet, the effect of different types of external shocks such as pandemics, natural disasters, and economic crises on the (gradual) removal of sanctions has not been systematically studied. This project examines when and how external shocks affect sanctions termination through a nested research design combining new data collection, statistical analyses, and two case studies.
    DFG, 2022-2023

    Dr. Julia Grauvogel

    Senior Research Fellow / Speaker Research Team

    Hana Attia

    Doctoral Researcher

    Research Project | 01/12/2011 - 01/12/2017

    Ineffective Sanctions? External Sanctions and the Persistence of Autocratic Regimes

    Despite various and often long-lasting international sanctions, numerous autocratic regimes such as Iran, Cuba, North Korea, Myanmar and Zimbabwe have proven to be extremely persistent. This project analyses the connection between external sanctions and persistence, taking into account especially regime-specific characteristics. With its nested research design the project closes the gap between highly aggregated quantitative analyses and individual case studies.
    Fritz Thyssen Foundation, 2011-2017

    GIGA Focus Middle East | 7/2021

    Raisi’s Foreign Policy: Pragmatic Revolutionism and the Iranian Pivot to Asia

    This GIGA Focus sheds light on the new Iranian conservative president Sayyid Ebrahim Raisi, and his doctrine of “pragmatic revolutionism.” The author analyses what the Iranian Asia-oriented foreign policy entails geopolitically and geoeconomically, and suggests how the multilateralist tendencies can be used by policymakers.

    Chapter in edited Volume | 07/2021

    Iran and China along the Digital Silk Road

    GIGA Focus Global | 3/2021

    Cyber Sanctions: Increasing Application of a New Instrument

    Hacker attacks on states and international organisations are increasingly answered with cyber sanctions. Dr Julia Grauvogel and Dr Christian von Soest compare the international use of the new instrument in Focus Global 04/2021 and show which steps could make the measures more effective.

    Dr. Julia Grauvogel

    Senior Research Fellow / Speaker Research Team

    Dr. Christian von Soest

    Lead Research Fellow / Head of RP 2

    Policy paper | 03/2021

    Iran between US and China

    International Studies Perspectives | 11/2020

    The Design and Enforcement of Economic Sanctions

    Ass. Prof. Dr. Navin Bapat

    Ass. Prof. Dr. Bryan Early

    Katja B. Kleinberg

    GIGA Forum | 03/06/2021

    Cyber Sanctions: Increasing Application of the New Instrument

    In this GIGA Forum, we will talk about the both opportunities and risks of cyber sanctions and discuss how greater cooperation between the EU, the US, and the United Nations could combat malicious hacking attacks.

    GIGA Talk | 03/06/2021

    Cyber Sanctions: Increasing Application of the New Instrument

    In this GIGA Talk, we will talk about the both opportunities and risks of cyber sanctions and discuss how greater cooperation between the EU, the US, and the United Nations could combat malicious hacking attacks.

    GIGA Talk | 25/06/2020

    No Future for the JCPOA? The Iranian Nuclear File and Proliferation Risk in the Middle East

    The Iranian nuclear agreement (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action/JCPOA) has been in limbo since the US withdrawal from it. Iran continues to abide by its main stipulations but has signalled its unwillingness to do so in the long run. What are the long-term implications of the US maximum pressure strategy and what are likely scenarios after the US presidential election in November?​

    Deutsche Welle | Interview | 07/10/2021

    Neue Runde im iranischen Atompoker

    10/12/2021

    The Political Consequences of Sanctions’ Termination

    Workshop 10/12/2021

    21/09/2021

    The Emerging Role of Sanctions within Democracy Support Strategies

    Workshop 21/09/2021

    Carnegie Event

    02/07/2021

    Monitoring the Monitor? Disentangling the Selective Use of Aid Sanctions in Response to Human Rights Transgressions

    Conference 02/07/2021

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