Nikolay Marinov
Sanctions and Democracy

110th APSA Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, 28. bis 31. August 2014

How do economic sanctions affect democratization, and should the former be used to promote the latter? Imposing economic pain on a large swaths of an already vulnerable population in order to nudge democratic change poses thorny issues from a positivist and normative perspective. Does it work, in terms of securing democratic outcomes? Even if it did, is the way of achieving change justifiable? Economic pain affects a population that is typically without a political voice. The target population has to bear the brunt of sanctions, over something is not responsible for and may be un- able to change. We explore the connections between the normative and positive sides of the argument in light of theoretical and normative developments in two decades of post-Cold War research on democracy. We argue that some sanctions policies, used under specific conditions are more, and others - less, justifiable than others.