Publication:
Assessment of the effectiveness of economic sanctions: The cases of Iran, North Korea, Myanmar, and Cuba

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Authors
Yoon, Yesun
Subjects
economic sanctions
U.S. foreign policy
statecraft
nuclear proliferation
democracy
Iran
North Korea
Myanmar
Cuba
Advisors
Barma, Naazneen
Date of Issue
2017-06
Date
Jun-17
Publisher
Monterey, California: Naval Postgraduate School
Language
Abstract
This study investigates what factors influence the effectiveness of economic sanctions in changing behavior of targeted states. U.S. and UN leaders often turn to economic sanctions rather than military force to achieve international political objectives, believing that sanctions are as effective as, and more humane than, military force. Yet, history has shown the sanctions are often ineffective in altering target states' agendas. This thesis explores the use of sanctions levied against Iran and North Korea, and examines their efficacy in preventing further nuclear proliferation by these two states. These case studies suggest the structure and type of sanctions have limited success driving behavior changes in target states. Other factors--such as the target states' motivation in pursuing a particular policy and features of their political systems, the sanctioning states' ability to punish targeted states' non-compliance, and the role of third-party spoilers, also known as black knights--play a large part in determining the value and outcome of economic sanctions. These findings are supported with a brief examination of attempts to promote democratic reforms in Myanmar and Cuba. The thesis concludes with policy implications.
Type
Thesis
Description
Series/Report No
Department
National Security Affairs (NSA)
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NPS Report Number
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Distribution Statement
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Rights
This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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