The Effectiveness of Sanctions as a Foreign Policy Instrument
The reaction to the recent Iran nuclear deal has brought into light questions about the degree to which sanctions work to achieve their own foreign policy aims. Though some will point to the Iran deal and argue that economic sanctions have forced the country to the negotiating table, others argue that Iran's economic problems were as much caused by mismanagement as sanctions. Moreover, given such measures disproportionately punish the poorest in a society, some argue that sanctions can ultimately reinforce the regimes that they seek to affect.
Our expert panel will consider whether the case can be made that international sanctions achieved their aims in Iran. The discussion will then be broadened to consider historic examples of sanctions’ successes and failures juxtaposed against contemporary sanctions schemes in Venezuela, Russia, Zimbabwe and Cuba. Have such measures really forced a start to negotiations and led to foreign policy victories? Or do they merely entrench political resentment while making the lives of the lower and middle classes in a targeted country more difficult?