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Not all dictators are equal: Coups, fraudulent elections, and the selective targeting of democratic sanctions

von Soest, Christian and Wahman, Michael LU (2015) In Journal of Peace Research 52(1). p.17-31
Abstract
Since the end of the Cold War, Western powers have frequently used sanctions to fight declining levels of democracy and human rights violations abroad. However, some of the world’s most repressive autocracies have never been subjected to sanctions, while other more competitive authoritarian regimes have been exposed to repeated sanction episodes. In this article, we concentrate on the cost–benefit analysis of Western senders that issue democratic sanctions, those which aim to instigate democratization, against authoritarian states. We argue that Western leaders weight domestic and international pressure to impose sanctions against the probability of sanction success and the sender’s own political and economic costs. Their cost–benefit... (More)
Since the end of the Cold War, Western powers have frequently used sanctions to fight declining levels of democracy and human rights violations abroad. However, some of the world’s most repressive autocracies have never been subjected to sanctions, while other more competitive authoritarian regimes have been exposed to repeated sanction episodes. In this article, we concentrate on the cost–benefit analysis of Western senders that issue democratic sanctions, those which aim to instigate democratization, against authoritarian states. We argue that Western leaders weight domestic and international pressure to impose sanctions against the probability of sanction success and the sender’s own political and economic costs. Their cost–benefit calculus is fundamentally influenced by the strength of trigger events indicating infringements of democratic and human rights. Western sanction senders are most likely to respond to coups d’état, the most drastic trigger events, and tend to sanction vulnerable targets to a higher extent than stable authoritarian regimes. Senders are also more likely to sanction poor targets less integrated in the global economy and countries that do not align with the Western international political agenda, especially in responding to ‘weaker’ trigger events such as controversial elections. The analysis is carried out using a new dataset of US and EU sanctions against authoritarian states in the period 1990–2010. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
authoritarian regimes, coup d’état, fraudulent elections, imposition, sanctions, trigger events, vulnerability
in
Journal of Peace Research
volume
52
issue
1
pages
17 - 31
publisher
SAGE Publications Inc.
external identifiers
  • scopus:84921056774
ISSN
1460-3578
DOI
10.1177/0022343314551081
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
cafc96d9-da74-4576-a08f-1f9291a61e75 (old id 4913954)
date added to LUP
2015-01-07 16:48:39
date last changed
2017-07-09 03:06:21
@article{cafc96d9-da74-4576-a08f-1f9291a61e75,
  abstract     = {Since the end of the Cold War, Western powers have frequently used sanctions to fight declining levels of democracy and human rights violations abroad. However, some of the world’s most repressive autocracies have never been subjected to sanctions, while other more competitive authoritarian regimes have been exposed to repeated sanction episodes. In this article, we concentrate on the cost–benefit analysis of Western senders that issue democratic sanctions, those which aim to instigate democratization, against authoritarian states. We argue that Western leaders weight domestic and international pressure to impose sanctions against the probability of sanction success and the sender’s own political and economic costs. Their cost–benefit calculus is fundamentally influenced by the strength of trigger events indicating infringements of democratic and human rights. Western sanction senders are most likely to respond to coups d’état, the most drastic trigger events, and tend to sanction vulnerable targets to a higher extent than stable authoritarian regimes. Senders are also more likely to sanction poor targets less integrated in the global economy and countries that do not align with the Western international political agenda, especially in responding to ‘weaker’ trigger events such as controversial elections. The analysis is carried out using a new dataset of US and EU sanctions against authoritarian states in the period 1990–2010.},
  author       = {von Soest, Christian and Wahman, Michael},
  issn         = {1460-3578},
  keyword      = {authoritarian regimes,coup d’état,fraudulent elections,imposition,sanctions,trigger events,vulnerability},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {17--31},
  publisher    = {SAGE Publications Inc.},
  series       = {Journal of Peace Research},
  title        = {Not all dictators are equal: Coups, fraudulent elections, and the selective targeting of democratic sanctions},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0022343314551081},
  volume       = {52},
  year         = {2015},
}