Coercing, Constraining and Signalling

About the book

The costs of military ventures and concern for human rights has increased the importance of international sanctions in the twenty fist century, but our knowledge is still limited in this area. The United Nations sanctions on Libya, Al Qaeda and Rwanda, or the European Union restrictive measures on the US, Transnistria and Uzbekistan are sparsely covered by the media and attempts to measure the effectiveness of any of these sanctions comes up against the fundamental (unanswered) question: What can sanctions do and when? This book undertakes an innovative approach that overcomes these problems by enhancing our understanding of how sanctions work and by explaining what we can expect from their imposition. Through the analysis of the sanctioning experience of the United Nations and the European Union after the Cold War, the investigation tests a comprehensive theoretical model and concludes that the context in which sanctions are imposed is a crucial element in deciding the type of sanctions adopted. Giumelli shakes the pre-constituted conceptions that we have on sanctions and sets the terms for more constructive debates in the future.

Endorsements for the book

“In his important contribution to the field of UN and EU targeted sanctions, Francesco Giumelli provides an excellent conceptual account of the challenges this strategic tool confronts in today’s world. He does so by providing both an excellent theoretical as well as methodological analysis, especially with regard to strategies of coercing, constraining and signalling. What is more, Dr. Giumelli also provides scientific recommendations for how to move the field forward. In short then, this book should be required reading for anyone interested in the state of the art of sanctions.”
Dr Mikael Eriksson, Researcher at the Swedish Defence Research Agency

“Francesco Giumelli’s analytical distinction between the different purposes of sanctions – to coerce, to constrain, to signal – introduces an innovative way to think about and to evaluate the effectiveness of sanctions.”
Prof. Thomas J. Biersteker, The Graduate Institute, Geneva

“This is a thoughtful study of economic sanctions as instruments of statecraft together with other forms of statecraft in pursuit of a variety of foreign policy goals. To his credit, the author neither dismisses nor ignores signaling as a foreign policy device.”
Prof. David A. Baldwin, Princeton University


Elena Gadjanova, Swiss Political Science Review, Volume 18, Issue 1, pages 137–139, March 2012

– Alex Vines, The effectiveness of UN and EU sanctions: lessons for the twenty-first century, International Affairs, Volume 88, Issue 4, pages 867–877, July 2012

Where you can buy the book

ECPR Press

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