Targeting autocrats: Economic sanctions and regime change

M.C. Oechslin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

When it comes to international economic sanctions, the most frequent goal is regime change and democratization. Yet, past experiences suggest that such sanctions are often ineffective; moreover, quite paradoxically, targeted regimes tend to respond with policies that amplify the sanctions’ harmful effects. This paper offers a political-economy model which provides an explanation for these observations. An autocratic regime lowers the supply of public goods to reduce private-sector productivity and hence the resources of potential challengers. As a result, sanctions-induced challenges become less likely, thereby buying the regime time to find exile opportunities. If these opportunities turn out to be of low quality, the regime prefers to hold out – and the sanctions fail.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-40
JournalEuropean Journal of Political Economy
Volume36
Early online date11 Jul 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014

Keywords

  • Economic sanctions
  • regime change
  • democratization
  • public goods
  • exile

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