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Economic Sanctions and The Sanctions Paradox: A Post-Sample Validation of Daniel Drezner’s Conflict Expectations Model

Hillebrand, Evan and Bervoets, Jeremy (2013): Economic Sanctions and The Sanctions Paradox: A Post-Sample Validation of Daniel Drezner’s Conflict Expectations Model.

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Abstract

Abstract: Daniel Drezner’s 1999 book The Sanctions Paradox used case studies from the former Soviet Union in the 1990s to test his game-theoretic model—the Conflict Expectations Model--of sanctions behavior. The model purports to help predict whether or not a “sender” will resort to economic sanctions to extract concessions from a “target” and whether the target will concede or resist. The model explained quite well the amount of concessions demanded by Russia in the 1990s and the degree of compliance by the 14 new states. Russia is still using economic leverage to reap economic advantage and political influence over its former constituent republics. In this paper we examine the pressures exerted by Russia in the 2000s and their results, using Drezner’s model to see if the model performed as well as before. We found (1) that Russia continued to make extensive use of economic sanctions to influence political decisions in the NIS in the 2000s, (2) that the sanctions were considerably less effective than they had been in the 1990s, (3) that the Drezner model continued to shed light on the sanctions effort but was less accurate in its predictions than it had been in the 1990s. One tentative conclusion from this analysis is that Russia’s sanctions successes in the 1990s created a strong desire in many of the NIS to reduce Russia’s economic leverage over them by diversifying their trade and energy links. It is possible that a less aggressive Russian strategy in the 1990s – though it might have brought smaller short term gains – could have better served Russian’s long term interests

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