What determines the eﬃcacy of EU sanctions?
This chapter explores the factors that may contribute to the policy changes the EU wishes to bring about, with a view to ascertaining the determinants of sanctions success and failure. The choice of variables is critical. The following paragraphs discuss the variables that will be employed in the investigation, and how they are presumed to aﬀect eﬃcacy. A discussion of those variables that has been traditionally dealt with in the literature is then updated with contributions from more recent research. In the course of the review, the errors frequently incurred in their operationalisation of variables are corrected. Particular attention is devoted to the adaptation of these variables, with the speciﬁc aim of analysing EU sanctions. The discussion thus focuses on new variables which take into account the speciﬁcity of targeted sanctions –measures tailored to maximise the target regime’s cost of non-compliance while minimising the target population’s suﬀering – as well as those accounting for the character of the sender entity, the EU. General sanctions theory, and consequently the variables which it has oper-
ationalised for measurement, is unsatisfactory. In order to enlarge the theoretical foundations of the investigation, the following section borrows elements from a number of theories exploring the operation of comparable foreign policy instruments which also have the objective of compelling a policy change in the leadership of a target country. While the tools analysed, which range from conditionality to military force, diverge greatly from one another in terms of their character and coercive capacity, this section will pay attention to the similarities they display in terms of the mechanisms through which they aim to bring about the desired results, as well as to their applicability to the operation of sanctions. The hope is that general sanctions theory will be improved by complementing its existing basis with elements from other approaches which draw attention to unexplored aspects.