“Do sanctions work?” is the wrong question

Source: Responsible Statecraft
by Esfandyar Batmanghelidj

“Studies on the efficacy of sanctions policies tend to focus on policy design — are they unilateral or multilateral measures, are they are primary or secondary sanctions, and what sectors, entities, or individuals do they target? In these studies, the country imposing sanctions is placed at the center of the system, exerting forces on the sanctioned countries in its orbit. The Copernican aspect of ‘How Sanctions Work’ is its insistence that a true understanding of sanctions efficacy arises not from an analysis of the policies, but rather from an analysis of the society and economy on which they are imposed.” (02/06/24)