, Volume 91, Number 6

Andrea Charron, Francesco Giumelli and Clara Portela (guest editors)



Mandatory United Nation (UN) sanctions imposed against Iraq, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Haiti in the 1990s gave rise to strong criticisms because of their comprehensive nature and the harm inflicted on innocent civilians. Chastened, the international community, led by like-minded, mainly western states, reformed the instrument of sanctions and adopted ‘targeted sanctions’— measures designed to address the peace spoilers but limit damage to the population at large.1 The consequence has been the evolution of sanctions from blunt, comprehensive measures targeting the economies of entire states to more specific measures targeting individuals, non-state entities, particular regions and specific sectors of economies. Despite this profound change, sanctions are still mistakenly assumed to target whole countries. Failing to recognize these qualitative differences between comprehensive and targeted sanctions has prevented the debate on sanctions from evolving.

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