The Evolution of Economic Coercion: From Sanctions to Targeted Financial Measures

For the past eight months, Western nations at the United Nations Security Council have unsuccessfully sought to impose sanctions on the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for its violent repression of a pro-reform revolt across the country. The effort follows their success last February in getting the council to impose muscular penalties on the now-defunct government of former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. Meanwhile, U.N. sanctions are currently in place against North Korea and Iran as a response to these countries’ violations of international nonproliferation obligations. Despite the diverging motivations behind each of these efforts to penalize the targeted countries, […]

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