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Are All Dictators Equal? The Selective Targeting of Democratic Sanctions against Authoritarian Regimes

Author

Listed:
  • Christian von Soest

    () (GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies)

  • Michael Wahman

    () (London School of Economics)

Abstract

Since the end of the Cold War, Western powers have frequently used sanctions as a reaction to declining levels of democracy and human rights violations in authoritarian regimes. However, some of the world’s most repressive authoritarian regimes have never been subjected to sanctions, while other more competitive autocracies have been exposed to repeated sanction episodes instigated by Western democracies as an attempt to enhance democracy and human rights. In this paper, we investigate how the United States and the European Union have selectively used sanctions as a tool to improve the level of democracy in targeted authoritarian states. Using a new dataset on democratic sanctions between 1990 and 2010, time - series–cross-sectional logistic regression and a number of strategically selected case studies, we find strong support for the suggestion that senders select economically and politically vulnerable targets where the expected probability of sanction success is high.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian von Soest & Michael Wahman, 2013. "Are All Dictators Equal? The Selective Targeting of Democratic Sanctions against Authoritarian Regimes," GIGA Working Paper Series 230, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:gig:wpaper:230
    as

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    File URL: http://www.giga-hamburg.de/dl/download.php?d=/content/publikationen/pdf/wp230_soest-wahman.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Irfan Nooruddin & Autumn Lockwood Payton, 2010. "Dynamics of influence in international politics: The ICC, BIAs, and economic sanctions," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 47(6), pages 711-721, November.
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    Keywords

    democratic sanctions; authoritarian regimes; democratization; imposition; threats.;

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