• Female geologist with colleague studying graphical display of oil and gas bearing rock on screens. Photo: Monty Rakusen/Getty Images. Research paper

    A Profile of Gender Disparities in the G20: What is Needed to Close Gaps in the Labour Market

    This brief note seeks to inform the work of the W20 in expanding women’s economic opportunities. It begins by outlining the origins and objectives of the W20, as recently agreed by the G20, then highlights the key gaps in economic opportunities for women and girls in G20 countries, identifying common challenges as well as distinguishing features and constraints.

    Jeni Klugman
  • Grand Central Market in Los Angeles, California, October 2015. Photo: Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images.Chatham House Report

    Changing Climate, Changing Diets: Pathways to Lower Meat Consumption

    Reducing global meat consumption will be critical to keeping global warming below the ‘danger level’ of two degrees Celsius, the main goal of the climate negotiations in Paris.

    Laura WellesleyAntony Froggatt

    Catherine Happer, Lecturer in Sociology, University of Glasgow

  • A migrant girl looks at a light illuminating the camp site of refugees and migrants who spend the night on the street after their arrival at the Greek island of Lesbos, 4 October 2015. Photo: Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images.Chatham House Report

    Heat, Light and Power for Refugees: Saving Lives, Reducing Costs

    In its current form, energy provision to displaced people undermines the fundamental humanitarian aims of assistance.

    Glada LahnOwen Grafham
  • Flags of participating countries at the G20 heads of government meeting are placed in front of Antalya airport, Turkey on 15 October 2015. Photo: Anadolu Agency/Contributor/Getty Images.Chatham House Briefing

    International Economic Governance: Last Chance for the G20?

    The unwillingness of the US to ratify governance reforms at the IMF puts the international system at risk of fragmentation and could make the G20, IMF and World Bank less effective.

    Dr Paola SubacchiStephen Pickford
  • International affairs

    Implications of climate change for the UN Security Council: mapping the range of potential policy responses

    Over the last decade there has been an evolving debate both within the United Nations and within the scholarly literature as to whether it would be feasible, appropriate and/or advantageous for the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to consider climate change to be within its remit. Given that irreversible global warming is under way and that this will inevitably have multiple global security implications—and indeed, that the Council has to some degree already addressed the issue—such a debate has become anachronistic. What is needed at this stage is nuanced analysis of how this complex policy issue may have already impacted, and may in future impact, the function and functioning of the Council. This article first reviews key variables that need to be taken into account in moving beyond a binary discussion of whether or not the Security Council should consider climate change. It then maps four broad categories of possible UNSC response, spanning from rejection of any involvement through to the Council using its Chapter VII powers and functioning as the peak body in respect of global climate change governance. It then places developments to date within those categories and concludes by considering the prospects for an increased UNSC role in the future.

    Shirley V. Scott

  • International affairs

    International sanctions before and beyond UN sanctions

    United Nations sanctions are authorized by the international body that is legally charged with the maintenance of international peace and security, the UN Security Council. They are grounded in provisions of the UN Charter. However, only a fraction of all international sanctions are mandated by the UN. One of the findings of this article, which is based on data collected by the Targeted Sanctions Consortium (TSC), is that the large majority of UN sanctions are preceded by non-UN sanctions, particularly sanctions by the United States and the European Union. Furthermore, it is common practice, particularly by the US and the EU, to add sanction provisions of their own to UN sanctions. As a result, for most UN sanctions, there are also non-UN sanctions against the same targets. Such combined sanction regimes add restrictions imposed by only some governments to those that all countries have to implement. Combined sanction regimes are therefore potentially more effective in achieving the targeted outcome than UN sanctions, which represent the lowest common denominator achievable among the members of the UN Security Council. On the other hand, combined sanction regimes might suffer from a type of ‘sanctions fatigue’. A growing number of states outside of the West are openly opposed to unilateral sanctions. Adding non-UN sanctions to UN sanctions might reduce their willingness to support UN sanctions. The TSC data, however, does not support such a contention. Rather, the data indicates that combined sanction regimes are more effective than stand-alone UN sanctions. Still, the US and EU governments—as the main drivers of sanctions policy in general and UN sanctions in particular—need to be aware of this criticism in order not to unwittingly undermine the UN sanctions instrument.

    Michael Brzoska

  • International affairs

    Understanding United Nations targeted sanctions: an empirical analysis

    United Nations sanctions have undergone profound transformations in the past two decades. In 1990, the UN Security Council imposed a general, comprehensive embargo on Iraq after its invasion of Kuwait. In 2015, there are 16 Sanctions Committees managing regimes that have little in common with the one imposed against Iraq in 1990. The measures imposed against Iraq were comprehensive, covering all goods coming in and out of the country, while sanctions imposed today are mostly against individuals, non-state entities and are more limited in scope. This article aims to provide empirical and systematic evidence of some of the distinctive qualities of UN targeted sanctions. The analysis identifies three distinctive characteristics of targeted sanctions. First, targeting individuals and non-state actors has permitted the use of sanctions in a wider range of crisis types. Second, the targets of sanctions are substantially different from comprehensive sanctions. Third, the form taken by sanctions is substantially different today from the trade embargoes imposed in the past. The author concludes that the Security Council should devote special attention to the designing and implementation phases of sanctions. The article makes use of the new database prepared by the Targeted Sanctions Consortium (TSC), which includes all cases of UN targeted sanctions.

    Francesco Giumelli

  • International affairs

    The UN, regional sanctions and Africa

    Sanctions are frequently applied by the UN Security Council (UNSC) as well as regional organizations. While the objectives sought often vary, a frequent commonality is that they target African states. Indeed, Africa is the most frequently targeted continent by the UNSC and regional organisations including the African Union, Economic Community of West African States and the European Union. However, little attention has been paid to the confluence of this sanctions activity by these different organizations. This article seeks to address this gap in the research. While the UNSC continues to focus on sanctioning to end hostilities, the regional organizations have assigned themselves unconstitutional changes to government as the principal reason to sanction African states. Drawing on data from the Targeted Sanctions Consortium (TSC), this article suggests that: 1) regional organisations are leading UNSC activity more often than is appreciated in the literature; 2) the UNSC has of late been expanding its sanctioning activity to consider issues of democracy and good governance; 3) the UNSC uses sanctions to endorse the activity of African regional organizations to deal with crises on the continent; and 4) UNSC and regional sanctions are intimately tied to crisis management in Africa.

    Andrea Charron and Clara Portela

  • International affairs

    Targeting sanctions and ending armed conflicts: first steps towards a new research agenda

    Capitalizing on the newly released dataset on United Nations sanctions and armed conflicts, this article raises the question whether targeted sanctions have an impact on the dynamics of armed conflicts, and, if they do, in what way. To answer this question the authors correlate UN sanctions policies to measures related to armed conflict in the period 1991–2013. This is done by systematizing and analysing data produced by the UN Targeted Sanctions Consortium (TSC) and the Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP). It is a first attempt to deal with questions such as the relationship between UN targeted sanctions and armed conflict type, conflict termination and conflict outcome (victory, peace agreements, etc.). The article demonstrates that there are several instances where the UN has decided not to impose targeted sanctions, although the conditions were similar to those cases that saw such action. There is a tendency to use targeted sanctions only in certain types of conflicts. The authors suggest that this is partly rooted in the structure of the UN as an inter-state organization. Thus, sanctions are more of a political instrument than has perhaps been recognized in sanctions research to date.

    Mikael Eriksson and Peter Wallensteen

  • International affairs

    Towards a world police? The implications of individual UN targeted sanctions

    This article explores the normative and institutional implications of the longterm use of individual sanctions by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). It identifies the systematic and extensive use of individual sanctions as the most fundamental qualitative change in international sanctions policy during this century. It argues that policy is developing towards their use not only in order to address international crises and disputes of relatively limited scope and duration, but also to address enduring criminal activities, notably (but not exclusively) related to terrorism. While these sanctions remain associated with threats to international peace and security in the classic sense, they have in many cases transformed into long-term confiscations of individual assets, instead of temporary freezes. The UNSC, designed to address international crises on an exceptional basis, now engages in permanent sequestrations and is tasked with the monitoring of individual criminal activities on a massive scale. While individual sanctions have on some occasions proven effective, their systematic use by inadequate institutions complicates the Council’s implementation of sanctions and undermines its legitimacy.

    Marcos Tourinho