The Sanctions Trap

By Brigitte Granville* Project Syndicate


Forged in the crucible of World War I, modern economic sanctions have long been regarded as tools for preventing shooting wars and deterring international bad actors. But a closer look at the history suggests that such punitive measures amount to war by other means.

London – The point of historical study is to improve our understanding of ourselves and our world. Some histories – especially those concerning remote times or narrow specialist topics – may seem relevant to our current concerns only as food for thought about the human condition. But others, like Cornell University historian….

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*Brigitte Granville is Professor of International Economics and Economic Policy at the School of Business and Management, Queen Mary, University of London, and the author of What Ails France

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