(AP Project) International Sanctions: The Preferred Method for Global Political Change
BASIS Advisor: Mr. Michael Hatch Internship location: ASU SAE Baja Onsite Mentor: Mr. James Contes, Senior Lecturer, Polytechnic School of Engineering
In 2014, Russia became the first country since the end of WWII to forcefully seize the territory of another sovereign nation when it annexed the Ukrainian province of Crimea. These actions were met with swift and severe backlash from the international community. Specifically, the U.S. and the E.U. were responsible for imposing wide-ranging sanctions on the Russian Federation with the explicit agenda of weakening the Russian economy, breaking down the separatist war-machine, and rattling the oligarchical ruling class. Likewise, the Islamic Republic of Iran has also been the subject of international sanctions since 2006, when the U.N. Security Council sought punitive measures for Iran’s continued nuclear enrichment program. Because of the gravity of nuclear proliferation, sanctions against Iran are the most brutal the world has ever seen. Iran and Russia stand out as the two foremost examples of modern sanctions policy, and as such, they are good case studies for the effectiveness of international sanctions in achieving their intended goals. My analysis compares the sanctions on Iran and Russia as well as their respective outcomes to determine what – if any – economic countermeasures have proved fruitful in changing the behavior of the target nations. If sanctions are found to be a viable foreign policy tool, they may potentially replace open warfare as the preferred method of changing a rogue nation’s behavior.