In Defense of Smart Sanctions: A Response to Joy Gordon

Lopez, George A.
March 2012
Ethics & International Affairs;Mar2012, Vol. 26 Issue 1, p135
Academic Journal
In her recent article in this journal, Joy Gordon provides an astute history and critique of the evolution and application of smart sanctions within the United Nations system since the mid-1990s. Her analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the discrete types of smart sanctions is part of a growing discussion among both academics and practitioners about the future and the utility of these measures. As always, her continued skepticism about the effectiveness and ethical dimensions of economic sanctions deserves serious consideration and evaluation. In particular, Gordon raises three central concerns: (1) smart sanctions are no more successful than traditional trade sanctions; (2) each type of targeted mechanism has serious flaws; and (3) targeted sanctions did not end the humanitarian damage or the related ethical dilemmas that are embedded into sanctions design and implementation.


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