Sanctions and democracy

Nikolay Marinov*, Shmuel Nili

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


How do economic sanctions affect democratization, and should the former be used to promote the latter? Imposing economic pain on large swaths of an already vulnerable population in order to nudge democratic change poses thorny issues. Does it work, in terms of securing democratic outcomes? Even if it did, is this way of achieving change justifiable? We explore the connections between the normative and positive sides of the argument for sanctions in light of theoretical and normative progress in two decades of post–Cold War research on democracy. We argue that some sanctions policies used under specific conditions are more justifiable, but there are other sanctions policies that are less justifiable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)765-778
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Interactions
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2015


  • Democracy
  • Democratization
  • International institutions
  • Sanctions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations


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