Economic sanctions as the propositional satisfiability problem


In this paper we are trying to answer the question of when economic sanctions have the best chance to succeed. Almost three hundred scholars from around the world participated in a survey designed to define which pre-conditions and actions by the sender are desirable in order for economic sanctions to succeed. The resolution algorithm is employed to find out whether there is a consensus among the scholars about the factors leading to the success of economic sanctions. The results provide evidence that when scholars were grouped by region the consensus could be reached that sanctions will succeed if: (1) modest policy change is sought, (2) sanctions are comprehensive, i.e., both trade and financial sanctions are imposed, (3) the target does not receive significant support from a third party, (4) the sender has much greater economy than the target, (5) there is international co-operation in the imposition of sanctions, and (6) the target is economically and politically weak and unstable. When scholars were grouped based on the level of economic development of their countries of origin, a consensus on all but one issue (sender's welfare or economic interest are threatened by target's action) was reached between scholars from economically developed nations and scholars from less developed nations. Surprisingly, experts from economically developed nations, i.e., the United States versus EU nations, could not reach a consensus on several issues.


Agribusiness, Education, and Communication

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Policy Sciences