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Collateral Damage Autocracy?

On the Impact of Economic Sanctions on the Political System

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Tobias Lechner

Anecdotal and empirical evidence suggests that economic sanctions, a popular tool of modern foreign policy, have a negative collateral damage to the political system of the target state. However, it is not clear under which circumstances sanctions have an autocratizing effect. Newer data on sanctions and regimes enable testing the most plausible hypotheses. The quantitative analysis finds that sanctions with high economic costs do not cause autocratization. Sanctions are not as bad – and perhaps not as useless – as many fear.

Tobias  Lechner  is  a  political  scientist  and  lecturer  at  University  of  Nairobi,  Kenya. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Freie Universität Berlin and holds a master’s degree in International Relations and a Magister Phil. in History and German Studies. His research focuses on economic statecraft in international relations and on bad and good governance.