Societies Under Siege: Exploring How International Economic Sanctions (Do Not) Work

ISBN : 9780198749325

Lee Jones
256 Pages
175 x 235 mm
Pub date
Oct 2015
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Today, international economic sanctions are imposed in response to virtually every serious international crisis, whether to promote regime change and democratisation, punish armed aggression, or check nuclear proliferation. But how exactly is the economic pain inflicted by sanctions supposed to translate into political gain? What are the mechanisms by which sanctions operate - or fail to operate? This is the first comparative study of this vital question. Drawing on Gramscian state theory, Societies Under Siege provides a novel analytical framework to study how sanctions are mediated through the domestic political economy and state-society relations of target states and filter through into political outcomes - whether those sought by the states imposing sanctions or, as frequently occurs, unintended and even highly perverse consequences. Detailed case studies of sanctions aimed at regime change in three pivotal cases - South Africa, Iraq and Myanmar - are used to explore how different types of sanctions function across time and space. These case studies draw on extensive fieldwork interviews, archival documents and leaked diplomatic cables to provide a unique insight into how undemocratic regimes targeted by sanctions survive or fall.


1. A Political Theory of Economic Statecraft
2. South Africa: Sanctioning Apartheid
3. Myanmar: Sanctioning Military Rule
4. Iraq: Sanctioning Dictatorship

About the author: 

Lee Jones is Senior Lecturer in International Politics at Queen Mary, University of London and Research Associate at the Asia Research Centre, Murdoch University. His research focuses on state-society relations, security and governance in developing countries, particularly Southeast Asia. Lee is author of ASEAN, Sovereignty and Intervention in Southeast Asia (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) and, with Shahar Hameiri, Governing Borderless Threats: Non-Traditional Security and the Politics of State Transformation (Cambridge University Press, 2015). He has frequently advised governments and non-governmental organisations in Europe and Asia and appears regularly in national and international media. Lee blogs at TheDisorderofThings.com and tweets @DrLeeJones.

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