Julia Grauvogel / Hana Attia

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

GIGA Working Papers | 2020


  • Series

    GIGA Working Papers

    Series Number

    320

    Number of Pages

    33

    Publisher

    German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA)

    Location

    Hamburg

    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.

    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

    Prof. Dr. Susan Allen

    Prof. Dr. Thomas J. Biersteker

    Prof. Dr. Michael Brzoska

    Katja B. Kleinberg

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