Berlin Security Beat

Episode 11: “When Sanctions Do (Not) Work”

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Alistair Wellmann, a Practice Fellow at the Centre for International Security at the Hertie School, and an expert on sanctions implementation and effectiveness, joins Dr. Katharina Emschermann, Deputy Director at the Centre for International Security, to talk about sanctions. They discuss:

  • why states impose sanctions,
  • different sanction types,
  • when sanctions work and when they don’t, and
  • how to sharpen the tool.

Bibliography Clifton, Morgan T./ Bapat, Navin/ Kobayashi, Yoshiharu (2014): Threat and Imposition of Economic Sanctions 1945–2005: Updating the TIES Dataset, in: Conflict Management and Peace Science, 31:5, 541–58,

Felbermayr Gabriel J./ Syropoulos, Constantinos/ Yalcin Erdal/ Yotov Yoto (2019): On the Effects of Sanctions on Trade and Welfare: New Evidence Based on Structural Gravity and a New Database. School of Economics Working Paper Series 2019-3, July 2019,

Felbermayr, Gabriel J./ Kirilakha, Aleksandra/ Syropoulos, Constantinos/ Yalcin, Erdal / Yotov, Yoto V. (2020): The global sanctions data base, in: European Economic Review, Vol. 129,

Hackenbroich, Jonathan/ Zerka, Pawel (2021): Economic arm-twisting is on the rise: Europe must learn how to resist it, in:

Hufbauer, Gary C./ Schott, Jeffrey J./ Elliott Kimberly A./ Oegg Barbara (2009): Economic Sanctions Reconsidered: History and Current Policy, 3rd ed, Peterson Institute,

Jordan, Joseph F. (2013): Sanctions Were Crucial to the Defeat of Apartheid, in: Peksen, Dursun (2019): When Do Imposed Economic Sanctions Work? A Critical Review of the Sanctions Effectiveness Literature, in: Defence and Peace Economics, 30:6, 635-647,

The Economist (2021): Sanctions are now a central tool of governments’ foreign policy, 04/24/2021,

Zarate, Juan (2013): Treasury's War: The Unleashing of a New Era of Financial Warfare, PublicAffairs, New York,


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