SANCTION

Sanctions: A Tool for Social Change

Sanctions are a form of economic, political, or social pressure imposed by one country on another to coerce compliance with international laws and standards. The use of sanctions is a tool used by the international community to promote peace and security, protect human rights, and advance economic development. The purpose of this paper is to review the history of sanctions, their application in international relations, and their effectiveness in achieving desired outcomes.

History of Sanctions

The use of sanctions has a long and varied history. The term ‘sanction’ is derived from the Latin word ‘sancire’, which means ‘to make sacred’. Sanctions have been used throughout history to influence the behavior of states and to achieve desired political objectives. In ancient Greece, for example, the Delian League imposed sanctions against the city-state of Megara in an effort to limit its power. During the 16th and 17th century, European states used sanctions to achieve diplomatic and economic objectives. In the 19th century, the United States imposed economic sanctions against Mexico for failing to pay its debts.

Application in International Relations

Sanctions are used in international relations to influence the behavior of states and to coerce compliance with international laws and standards. The most common form of sanctions are economic sanctions, which involve the suspension or reduction of trade, investment, or financial flows between states. Economic sanctions can be targeted at specific individuals, corporations, or broad sectors of an economy. Sanctions can also be imposed in the form of travel bans, asset freezes, arms embargoes, or the suspension of diplomatic relations.

Effectiveness of Sanctions

The effectiveness of sanctions depends on a variety of factors, including the target state’s economic and political conditions, the level of international support for the sanctions, and the scope of the sanctions. For example, economic sanctions are more likely to be effective if they are targeted at specific individuals or corporations, rather than broad sectors of an economy. Additionally, sanctions are more likely to be effective if they are backed by a broad coalition of states and enforced uniformly.

Conclusion

Sanctions are a powerful tool for the international community to promote peace and security, protect human rights, and advance economic development. The use of sanctions has a long and varied history, and they are now used widely in international relations to influence the behavior of states. The effectiveness of sanctions depends on a variety of factors, including the target state’s economic and political conditions, the level of international support for the sanctions, and the scope of the sanctions.

References

Fenwick, C. (2015). Sanctions in international law. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Gartzke, E., & Jo, C. (2012). The political economy of sanctions: Theory and evidence. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 56(5), 807-830. doi:10.1177/0022002711427908

Hufbauer, G. C., Schott, J. J., Elliott, K. A., & Oegg, B. (2008). Economic sanctions reconsidered: History and current policy. Washington, DC: Peterson Institute for International Economics.

Kunz, J. (2012). Sanctions in international law. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

United Nations Security Council. (2015). Sanctions. Retrieved from https://www.un.org/sc/suborg/en/sanctions/

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