The Influence of Target States’ Degree of Globalization on the Outcome of Economic Sanctions, 1992-2005





Published date: 

June, 2021


Chien-Wu Alex Hsueh


In contemporary international society where the use of force is largely restricted, economic sanctions are an important policy tool when states deal with conflicts between themselves and other states. Among those states with high levels of interdependence, at least one or both sides will have sanctioning leverage due to lower sensitivity and vulnerability. In addition, recent developments in globalization have further enhanced the interdependence between nations. Subsequently, what influence will globalization have on economic sanctions? The goal of this research is to explore the impact of the degree of globalization of the target states on their “political connections,” “economic connections,” and “social connections” when a single state either threatens to implement or implements economic sanctions directed toward them. The previous findings suggest that the stronger the political connections that the target states have, the less likely they will be substantively cut off, the more likely they will be able to receive external support, and the more likely that the senders and targets will be highly antagonistic towards each other. However, the economic and social connections between target states and other countries do not have the same effects as their political connections. Besides, the causal directions of target states’ political connections are much more stable than those of the economic and social connections. Therefore, the target states that have stronger political connections will have a lower probability of making concessions when threatened or when the sanctions imposed by the sender state are actually enforced. By contrast, the level of their economic or social connections will not be significantly affected regardless of whether they concede or not. Empirical evidence based on the post-Cold War economic sanctions from 1992 to 2005 supports this argument. The findings of this research also have important policy implications for current Cross-Strait relations.