Sanction imposition and success: Dyadic intensity, power, and the cost-effectiveness of sanctions



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States seeking to resolve international disputes have multiple options available to them. The most severe option is often militarized conflict while the most docile option is to do nothing. In between these two options lie more variable options, such as economic sanctions. Sanctions have been used throughout history as a way to punish target states, signal the preferences of sender states, or both. The study of economic sanctions has increased in recent years and scholars have studied many aspects of sanction imposition and success. One area that lacks significant scholarly investigation is how sanctions may be used by different types of dyads. I argue sender states sanction when it is the most cost-effective way to see their policy preferences met. Cost-effectiveness is a function of (1) resolve to use force and (2) the level of uncertainty of outcome in the event force is used. Likewise, I argue sanction success is a function of this same calculation, but this time by the target state. To investigate these relationships I look at international rivalry and power distribution and their effects on sanction imposition and success.



Economic sanctions, Rivalry, Power