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Understanding Multilateral Sanctions using a Multi-way Network Perspective

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posted on 11.10.2021, 16:50 authored by Sana M. Lakdawala
Countries often rely on sanctions to express discontent or disagreement with the actions of their peers in the international community. Many times, these sanctions have played a direct role in the lives of citizens and have led to course-correction by offending states. Sometimes, countries will issue joint sanctions, or sanctions sent by a coordinated group of countries. From a network perspective, multilateral sanctions add an additional layer of complexity to the representation of that sanction in the network, as well as to the assumptions made surrounding how sanctions are issued. For example, it is incorrect to assume a multilateral sanction issued by two countries is the same as two individual sanctions issued to a target state. In this thesis, we evaluate the evolution of the (multilateral) sanction network between 1945 and 2005 based on the Threat and Impositions of Sanctions dataset (Morgan, Bapat, & Kobayashi, 2014). In particular, we explore the role balance theory plays in sanction collaboration. Although the network tends to have more balanced structures than unbalanced ones, we find no evidence for all rules that constitute balance theory hold. Specifically, we do not find an effect of the "my enemy's enemy is my friend" mechanism on the formation of collaborations. At the same time, we do find evidence for the "my friend's friend is my friend" mechanism and find that country pairs where one country has sanctioned the other earlier, are less likely to collaborate on sanctions later.





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