What are Economic Sanctions?

    Economic sanctions are an effort on behalf of a nation or group of nations to impose financial restrictions on a target country in an attempt to force the target country's government to change a specific policy. This can include limitations on imports and exports to and from the target country, restricted investment, and prohibition of private transactions between the citizens of the countries involved. The overall intent is to place a financial burden on the target country great enough such that the target country must capitulate or lose its economy. 

 Who enforces sanctions and how?

    Any nation may enforce or help to enforce economic sanctions, although predominantly nations with strong economies and political systems can withstand the pressures of applying sanctions. Most are either applied unilaterally by the US or multilaterally by the UN.  


    National Security - These sanctions are often the most severe and last until the desired end is achieved. These types of sanctions are intended to stop the proliferation of arms or materiel for weaponry. These types of sanctions may also be used to deter military aggression or to end government support of terrorist groups.

    Foreign Policy - Foreign policy sanctions can have a variety of functions from the ousting of a current ruling regime to a simple change in one of the target nation's various policies. Often these sanctions are in response to human rights violations, undemocratic governments, drug trafficking, or environmental abuses.



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