Perhaps the most common question raised in the literature on coercive international sanctions is: "Do sanctions work?" Unsurprisingly, the answer to such a sweeping question remains inconclusive. However, even the widely-presumed logic of coercive sanctions – that economic impact translates into effective political pressure – is not the primary driver of conflict developments. Furthermore, existing rationalist-economistic approaches neglect one of the most striking differences seen across sanctions conflicts: the occurrence of positive sanctions or their combination with negative sanctions, implicitly taking them as logically indifferent.
Instead of asking whether sanctions work, this book addresses a more basic question: How do coercive international sanctions work, and more substantially, what are the social conditions within sanctions conflicts that are conducive to either cooperation or non-cooperation? Arguing that coercive sanctions and international conflicts are relational, socially-constructed facts, the author explores the (de-)escalation of sanctions conflicts from a sociological perspective. Whether sanctions are conducive to either cooperation or non-cooperation depends on the one hand on the meaning they acquire for opponents as inducing decisions upon mutual conflict. On the other hand, negative sanctions, positive sanctions, or their combination each contribute differently to the way in which opponents perceive conflict, and to its potential transformation. Thus, it is premature to ‘predict’ the political effectiveness of sanctions simply based on economic impact.
The book presents analyses of the sanctions conflicts between China and Taiwan and over Iran’s nuclear program, illustrating how negative sanctions, positive sanctions, and their combination made a distinct contribution to conflict development and prospects for cooperation. It will be of great interest to researchers, postgraduates and academics in the fields of international relations, sanctions, international security and international political sociology.
Table of Contents
Part I - Conceptualizing International Sanctions Conflicts
2. Sanctions: Disconnected Theorizing of a Relational Phenomenon
3. A Sociological Theory of Coercive International Sanctions
4. Methodology & Methods
Part II - Analysis: Sanctions and Conflict (De-)Escalation
5. Sticks, Carrots, and Conflict Transformation: China’s Sanctions against Taiwan
6. Escalating and De-Escalating Conflict: Sanctions on Iran’s Nuclear Program
7. Evolving Sanctions Strategies, Changing Conflict Observations
Part III - Conclusion
8. Conclusion & Implications
Mark Daniel Jaeger is a post-doctoral researcher at the Centre for Advanced Security Theory, University of Copenhagen.
"This book offers a conceptually rich reassessment of the usefulness of international sanctions. However, it does more than that and warrants reading by even those students of international relations not primarily dealing with sanctions. Mark Daniel Jaeger’s book demonstrates that theory-building in IR is not something that happens in the thin air of abstract arguments only, but can be driven by dealing with substantive issues." - Mathias Albert, Bielefeld University, Germany
"This is the most convincing theory to date for the analysis of international sanctions and therefore exceedingly important for practically managing some of the most explosive conflicts on the current policy agenda. At the same time, its careful and creative theory building at the intersection of sociological theories of conflict and International Relations theories of securitization ought to inspire further innovative theorizing for other topics. Go read, go theorize – current conflicts call for work like this." - Ole Wæver, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
"Without doubt, the work of Jaeger represents one of the most thorough and accurate studies of coercive economic sanctions, where the meaning and social conditions under which sanctions arise play a more important role than materialist accounts and the ‘economic aspect’ of conflict relations." - Dr. Ksenia Maksimovtsova