International Sanctions against Violent Actors

By Dursun Peksen
November 2022

In International Sanctions against Violent Actors, Dursun Peksen, Professor of Political Science at the University of Memphis, examines the extent to which international sanctions affect political violence committed by state and nonstate actors in sanctioned countries. In this research synthesis, he observes that sanctions are effective only about 30 percent of the time and are likely to create incentives for targeted governments to employ repressive means against their citizenry and rival groups. Sanctions are most likely to succeed when focused on the military capability of one or more parties to a civil war, Peksen concludes. Paired with other forms of intervention, sanctions can amplify the pressure on targeted actors and contribute to peace and stability.

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