The ineffectiveness of economic sanctions against major powers : implications for theory and U.S. policy
Thesis (M.A.)--Georgetown University, 2011.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. While economic sanctions remain an attractive tool of coercion in international politics, they have a poor record of altering the behavior of major powers such as China and India over the past quarter century. U.S. sanctions against China following the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989 were resisted by the George H.W. Bush administration, which was eager to engage Beijing and advance Sino-American economic ties. After the Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998, India was also able to withstand American sanctions that were opposed by key members of the U.S. Congress. In both cases, multilateral economic sanctions were also undermined by the reluctance of key U.S. allies, including Japan in the case of China and France in the case of India. There were considerable differences between the two cases in terms of U.S. objectives, Chinese and Indian vulnerabilities, and levels of uncertainty. But taken together, they suggest that economic sanctions are difficult to impose almost impossible to sustain against major powers in a globalized world. This, in turn, has several implications for the theory and practice of international relations, hastening the onset of multipolarity, questioning the inevitability of interdependent peace, and suggesting a continuing need for the United States to maintain its military superiority in a peaceful globalized world.
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