Sanctions bring benefits one time in three

That’s the message from an interesting research nugget quoted by the Financial Times:

A careful study by the Peterson Institute of 115 uses of economic sanctions by major countries between 1950 and 1990 concluded that, in about a third of cases, they helped those wielding them achieve their goals. The research shows they were most likely to be successful when this objective was modest and clear, the target was in a weakened position, economic links were significant, sanctions were heavy, and the duration was limited.

Helping in only one in three cases leaves an awful lot of misery and horror unaffected, though given how often they are caused by complex situations lacking easy answers, to have as relatively simple a tool as sanctions help out as often as one in three times still makes for a remarkably large amount of good that can be done.

Mosque in DamascusThe prompt for the FT to quote this research was the news that, finally, the US is imposing sanctions against Syria, as the (likely) death toll in that country topped 1,000 in the face of continuing protests against the country’s dictatorial rulers.

There’s a macabre and harsh light which death totals throw on foreign policy concerns: in some countries deaths can be numbered in the tens to get international attention and action; in some it has to reach the hundreds; in others the thousands; and in an appalling few cases it’s only when the death toll hits the tens of thousands that the international community does more than issue the occasional note of regret.

Read more by or more about .
This entry was posted in News.


Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?


Recent Comments

  • Peter Martin
    "..the proposed new policy of a 4% tax on the share buy-backs of big corporations listed in the London Stock Market." is a step in the right directio...
  • David Symonds
    It is depressing in my view that this dying Government have decided to declare war on those off work sick and it is a smokescreen to deflect from their own fail...
  • Peter Martin
    @ Katharine, " ...young people should be informed that, with the present Labour leadership, they should not expect too much from a new Labour government...
  • Steve Trevethan
    Well posted Mr. Gray!!! Why is it that an adult being offended in London gets lots of publicity while children in Gaza having limbs amputated without anaesth...
  • Chris Lewcock
    Seems a facile and false parallel is being drawn between imposing seatbelts and banning cigarettes. Requiring use of a seat belt doesn't ban driving, doesn't re...