Russia's attack on Ukraine once again raises the question of the effectiveness of sanctions. Economic sanctions are a popular foreign policy tool for addressing a wide range of international challenges including conflicts, human rights violations, or terrorism. Learn more about GIGA's research on this topic.


  • 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.

    Research Project | 01/06/2023 - 30/11/2025

    Targeting: How the USA and EU Use Individual Sanctions

    Individual sanctions have become a go-to instrument with which Western powers confront challenges to international peace and security. Shaping the trend of individualizing accountability, the USA and the EU as the main bilateral global sanction senders target individuals and entities to hold them accountable for the instigation of armed conflict, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, or the violation of human rights. INSA seeks to systematically analyze and compare the listing decisions of the USA and the EU.
    DSF, 2023-2025

    Research Project | 01/01/2022 - 30/09/2024

    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, 2022-2024

    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

    Prof. Dr. Michael Brzoska

    Prof. Dr. T. Clifton Morgan

    Ass. Prof. Dr. Clara Portela

    Michael Wahman

    European Journal On Criminal Policy and Research | 03/2024

    The Impact of External Pressure on Companies’ Responses to Sanctions – an International Comparative Study

    Our study argues that different types of external pressure, such as public shaming, the nature of companies’ business relationships, and the legal-regulatory environments affects how firms responded to the sanctions against Russia . Using results from a survey of 610 medium-sized companies in Germany, Poland, and the United States, we find support for this claim.

    Prof. Dr. Beata Stępień

    Ass. Prof. Dr. Bryan Early

    Journal of Global Security Studies | 12/2023

    Easier In than Out: Lessons Learned from the Termination of the Iraq Sanctions Regime

    Reconstructing previously neglected debates about ending sanctions for the “watershed case” of the UN embargo against Iraq, we find that the United States depicted the lifting of sanctions as an all-or-nothing question, which impeded a more gradual approach toward ending the measures.

    Conference | 03/04/2024 - 06/04/2024

    Apathy, Outrage, or Action? Comparatively Analyzing Citizens’ Responses to Sanctioning Russia

    ISA Annual Conference 2024, Hilton Hotel, San Francisco Organisers: International Studies Association Dr. Julia Grauvogel (Speaker), Ass. Prof. Dr. Bryan Early (Speaker)

    Western sanctions against Russia received a remarkable amount of public support. We hypothesize and demonstrate that whether citizens believe the measures to have been effective and justified explains their willingness to provide moral support (e.g. social advocacy) and/or costly support (e.g. boycotts).

    Ass. Prof. Dr. Bryan Early

    Georgia State University

    Conference | 03/04/2024 - 06/04/2024

    Public Opinion on Sanctions Compliance and Evasion: Experimental Evidence from the 2022–23 Russia Sanctions

    ISA Annual Conference 2024, Hilton Hotel, San Francisco Organisers: International Studies Association Dr. Julia Grauvogel (Speaker), Dr. Hana Attia (Speaker)

    Private companies play a critical but under-researched role for sanctions success. We examine what citizens think about companies’ responses to sanctions and whether firms that chose to continue doing business in the target state can successfully justify this decision.

    President (ad interim)

    Prof. Dr. Sabine Kurtenbach is President (ad interim) of the GIGA.

    Prof. Dr. Sabine Kurtenbach

    Regional Institutes

    Africa|Asia|Latin America|Middle East


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