The Effects of Economic Sanctions on Target Countries over Time through Mathematical Models and Decision Making


Volume 2, Issue 4, Number 3, Pages 53-63, Published Online October 20, 2014

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Emad Rabiei and Peyman Ahmadian


This study investigates the impact of economic and political sanctions on Governments over time. The objective of this paper is to determine the best strategy toward sanction through decision making methods. Some economists argue that it takes time to convince the sanction target. Others stress that economic adjustment will reduce incentives to comply. When it comes to international economic sanctions, the most frequent goal is regime change and democratization. Yet, past experiences suggest that such sanctions are often ineffective; moreover, quite paradoxically, targeted regimes tend to respond with policies that amplify the sanctions’ harmful effects. These governments try to contain potential problems caused by sanctions by using three types of political rhetoric: appeasement, backlash, and surveillance. Negative sanctions cause the regime to use appeasement strategies (or calls for reforms and internal changes). It tends to use backlash rhetoric (or blaming the sanctioning powers) in response to, interestingly, positive sanctions. This paper also offers a political-economy model by using mathematical formulas which provides an explanation for these observations. As a result, we conclude if government utilize its own economic opportunities, there is a big chance that sanctions fail.


sanctions, Economic sanctions, change behavior, adjustment, sanction effects.


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