Magazine article Foreign Affairs

Recent Books: Political and Legal: Societies under Siege: Exploring How International Economic Sanctions (Do Not) Work

Magazine article Foreign Affairs

Recent Books: Political and Legal: Societies under Siege: Exploring How International Economic Sanctions (Do Not) Work

Article excerpt

Societies Under Siege: Exploring How International Economic Sanctions (Do Not) Work BY LEE JONES. Oxford University Press, 2015, 224 pp.

Proponents of international sanctions regimes usually argue that by restricting economic interactions and thus creating popular discontent, sanctions can put pressure on governments to change their policies. But in closely examining the various ways in which sanctions affect the interests, resources, and strategies of different political groups, Jones finds that things don't always turn out that way. In South Africa in the 1980s, an internationally enforced embargo ultimately fragmented the ruling bloc and empowered progressive political and business groups that pushed for an end to apartheid. In Iraq during the 1990s, Jones argues, sanctions seriously weakened Saddam Hussein's ruling coalition, but his regime managed to hang on to power. …

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