The termination of international sanctions: Explaining target compliance and sender capitulation

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With the proliferation of sanctions after the end of the Cold War, the termination of these punitive measures has become a ubiquitous phenomenon in international politics. Yet, research has hitherto almost exclusively focused on sanctions’ implementation and effectiveness, whereas their termination has received little attention. In this paper, we draw on studies analyzing the varying duration of sanctions to examine under which conditions they end. In contrast to prior research that has mostly treated the end of sanctions as a single category, our analysis disaggregates sanctions termination by target compliance and sender capitulation. We run a competing risks model using novel dyadic sanctions data and show that the determinants of both outcomes significantly diverge. While poor economic health and high political volatility in the target country make it significantly more likely to comply, political alignment between the sender and target and leadership changes in the sender country lead to a higher probability of sender capitulation.

In European Economic Review
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