Sanctions as a Foreign Policy Tool: Weighing Humanitarian Impulses

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Weiss, Thomas G. (1999) Sanctions as a Foreign Policy Tool: Weighing Humanitarian Impulses , Journal of Peace Research 36(5): 499–509.

Economic sanctions have become a popular multilateral and bilateral enforcement measure in the 1990s. Their efficacy is doubtful along with their moral superiority over military force. Substantial suffering by vulnerable groups in Iraq, former Yugoslavia, and Haiti has led to a 'bust' for this foreign policy tool. Sanctions can be designed to be more effective and less inhumane than they are at present, but much more research is required about their precise impact on civilians and on targeted regimes. Early post-Cold War euphoria is giving way to more realistic and subtle assessments of the pluses and minuses of economic and military coercion.

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