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Unpublished Paper
Nuclear Chain Reaction: Why Economic Sanctions Are Not Worth the Public Costs
ExpressO (2014)
  • Nicholas C.W. Wolfe, Hamline University

International economic sanctions frequently violate human rights in targeted states and rarely achieve their objectives. However, many hail economic sanctions as an important nonviolent tool for coercing and persuading change. In November 2013, the Islamic Republic of Iran negotiated a temporary agreement with major world powers regarding Iran’s nuclear program. The United States’ media and politicians have repeatedly and incorrectly attributed Iran’s willingness to negotiate to the effectiveness of economic sanctions.

Politicians primarily focus on immediate domestic effects and enact sanctions without a thorough understanding of the long-term effects on the United States economy and the public within a targeted nation. The purpose of this article is to convince policymakers that the achievement of an interim nuclear agreement with Iran should not be seen as a mandate on the effectiveness of economic sanctions, and that further use of economic sanctions is not worth the public costs to targeted nations or the United States.

  • International law,
  • international,
  • transnational,
  • public policy,
  • public law,
  • policy,
  • economy,
  • economics,
  • economic,
  • sanctions,
  • sanction,
  • Iran,
  • Treaty,
  • nuclear,
  • nuclear energy,
  • international agreement,
  • nuclear agreement,
  • atomic,
  • human rights,
  • united nations,
  • security council,
  • executive power,
  • president,
  • United States,
  • US,
  • U.S.,
  • humanitarian,
  • interim nuclear agreement,
  • nuclear agreement,
  • Islamic Republic of Iran
Publication Date
September 15, 2014
Citation Information
Nicholas C.W. Wolfe. "Nuclear Chain Reaction: Why Economic Sanctions Are Not Worth the Public Costs" ExpressO (2014)
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