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Are sanctions effective in achieving foreign policy objectives?

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  1. Introduction
  2. Foreign policy
  3. Are sanctions effective in achieving foreign policy objectives?
  4. The international community
  5. Conclusion

The issue of sanctions is currently widely debated in international relations as the international community is discussing the Iranian nuclear program, trying to find an effective solution and considering imposing sanctions. Since post WWII sanctions have been widely used for multiple purposes ranging from the spread of democracy, the protection of human rights or to prevent nuclear proliferation. However, for the past few decades, many have questioned the effectiveness of sanctions as a tool for foreign policy as the international community has witnessed several disastrous cases.

By using the case of Iraq, this essay will first define what sanctions imply and what foreign policy objective they answer to, then it will look at the conditions in which these sanctions are implemented and what difficulties they encounter and finally we will look at the destructive impact sanctions have on the targeted country.

Sanctions are an instrument of international politics. Their aim is to ?prevent the exchanges of goods, services, or persons across national borders, thereby isolating the target state from international commerce? in order to foster a reaction from the targeted government. In other words, Christopher C. Joyner states that UN sanctions are ?coercive measures which are intended to convince or compel a state to desist from engaging in acts violating international law? .

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