“The Art of Sanctions” by Richard Nephew (recommend)

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“The Art of Sanctions” by Richard Nephew
(advisor and expert on sanctions to the US government), where he recognizes that the objective of “sanctions” is to cause pain to the people.


This is a book about the use of sanctions in foreign policy, writ-
ten by a practitioner largely for practitioners and those operating
in foreign policy more generally. It puts sanctions in the context of
overall foreign policy strategy and uses terms that have been delib-
erately chosen for their visceral nature, such as pain and tolerance.
It frames sanctions not in absolute terms of what works and what
does not, but rather with respect to which critical questions must
be answered and what information must be gathered prior to
embarking on a sanctions campaign and how sanctions should be
structured on the basis of those context-specific answers. Impor-
tantly, this book is intended to give those people whose careers
and interest touch on the practical execution of foreign policy
a mental framework for considering whether, when, and how to
apply sanctions. It is designed to spell out the issues that sanction-
ers must confront. And it makes a case for a degree of humility in
the design of sanctions, accepting that successful sanctions cam-
paigns may be iterative, incremental activities of trial and error
that are disconnected from the ivory tower of sanctions theory. Continue reading 👇