Powerful countries like the United States regularly employ ecomic sanctions as a tool for promoting their foreign policy interests. Yet this foreign policy tool has an uninspiring track record of success, with ecomic sanctions achieving their goals less than a third of the time they are imposed. The costs of these failed sanctions policies can be significant for the states that impose them, their targets, and the other countries they affect. Explaining ecomic sanctions' high failure rate therefore constitutes a vital endeavor for academics and policy-makers alike. Busted Sanctions seeks to provide this explanation, and reveals that the primary cause of this failure is third-party spoilers, or sanctions busters, who undercut sanctioning efforts by providing their targets with extensive foreign aid or sanctions-busting trade. In quantitatively and qualitatively analyzing over 60 years of U.S. ecomic sanctions, Bryan Early reveals that both types of third-party sanctions busters have played a major role in undermining U.S. ecomic sanctions. Surprisingly, his analysis also reveals that the United States' closest allies are often its sanctions' worst enemies. The book offers the first comprehensive explanation for why different types of sanctions busting occur and reveals the devastating effects it has on ecomic sanctions' chances of success.
Bryan R. Early is an Assistant Professor in the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy at the University at Albany, SUNY and the founding Director of the Project on International Security, Commerce, and Economic Statecraft at the Center for Policy Research.