Inken von Borzyskowski, Clara Portela | 2023

Global Governance From Below: Regional Sanctions as Drivers of UN Sanctions

In: Journal of Conflict Resolution Volume 67, issue 10.

The imposition of sanctions by the UN Security Council (UNSC) is notoriously selective. Many crises have qualified for UNSC sanctions by endangering peace and security, yet the UN has imposed sanctions in only a few. Selectivity in UNSC sanctions is conventionally explained by conflict intensity or the interests of the Council’s permanent members. Complementing these accounts, we document a third explanation: pre-existing sanctions by regional organizations. We argue that the UNSC has incentives to sanction countries which are already under sanctions by regional organizations because regional sanctions embody neighborhood consensus on the legitimacy of these sanctions and reassure the Council about implementation. Statistical analyses of original data, text analyses, a case study, and interviews strongly support our argument: regional sanctions increase the likelihood of UNSC sanctions adoption…

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