Economic sanctions – the hammer in the political toolbox
This brief examines the dominant discourse around economic sanctions as an economic and political tool. While providing an overview of the discourse it discusses the problems and highlights the political aspects. Changes in the global economic and political landscape give reason to believe that the sanctions tool is under transformation. This change affects both those targeted by sanctions, which are becoming increasingly immune, and those applying sanctions with the tool becoming available to new actors. The brief puts into question the view of economic sanctions as effective and desirable suggesting there is good reason for caution.