ISSN (Print) 1996-7845

ISSN (Online) 2542-2081


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Jonathan Darsey , Adam Stulberg

Deaf Ears and the U.S.-EU-Russia Sanctions Tangle: Contending Strategic Discourses and Mutual Emboldenment

2019. Vol. 14. No. 3. P. 69–98 [issue contents]

The contemporary strategic landscape between Russia and the West is marred by interlocking economic sanctions, despite little tangible evidence that they are effective.  Both Russia and the West seem complacent about the “high incidence-low effectiveness” of their sanctions-related behaviour, and there are no obvious off-ramps to the continuation or escalation of current sanctions policies.  What factors caused this U.S.-EU-Russian sanctions tangle, and what can be done to address it? This article addresses these questions by comparing the sanctions-related discourse of the Russian and western strategic communities as expressed in over 1,000 academic research articles published since 2010.  Statistical analysis of publication output, citation patterns and the textual content of these articles reveals contending Russian and western “world views” according to which each strategic community embraces fundamentally different understandings of the meaning, objectives, processes and legitimacy of sanctions-related behaviour.  This suggests that breaking the sanctions tangle will require that the Russian and western strategic communities deepen their understanding of, and engage with, each other’s world views, and in so doing re-examine the beliefs, objectives and expectations that form the basis of each side’s current use of sanctions.

Citation: Darsey J., Stulberg A.N. (2019) Deaf Ears and the U.S.-EU-Russia Sanctions Tangle: Contending Strategic Discourses and Mutual Emboldenment International Organisations Research Journal, vol. 14, no 3, pp. 69–98 (in English). DOI: 10.17323/1996-7845-2019-03-04.
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