Sanctions: What Everyone Needs to Know®
Bruce W. Jentleson
Even before the extensive sanctions imposed on Russia for its 2022 invasion of Ukraine, it was hard to browse the news without seeing reports of yet another set of sanctions. The US has active sanctions against over thirty countries as well as drug traffickers, terrorist organizations, and specially designated individuals. China has long been a target of sanctions and, in recent years, increasingly become a wielder against both countries and companies. Russia also has been a sanctions sender as well as target. The EU has joined some of the American sanctions as well as imposing its own. In some cases, the UN has authorized fully multilateral sanctions. While being used more frequently in recent years, sanctions go back centuries, to such cases as the measures taken by Athens against Sparta in 432 bc and Napoleon’s 1808–1814 Continental System. Given such frequency of use, one would think sanctions were a sure-fire weapon. Yet the record is quite mixed, raising some puzzling questions: Why are economic sanctions used so much? What are the key factors affecting their success? These and related questions are addressed by scholar and senior foreign policy advisor Bruce W. Jentleson in Sanctions: What Everyone Needs to Know. They have long been important among international relations scholars, spanning international security and international political economy subfields. And with sanctions such a recurring foreign policy strategy, they are crucial for policymakers.
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