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Rudolf Agricola School

More Research Development, Security & Justice

Sanctions Group

The research group Sanctions aims to provide a comprehensive and interdisciplinary analysis of international sanctions, drawing on the expertise of political science, law, economics, international relations, and sociology. International sanctions have emerged as a prominent tool in contemporary global politics, employed by states and international organizations to influence the behavior of targeted entities and governments.

Integrating insights from diverse fields

The group addresses various questions related to sanctions, from effectiveness to economic impact, from legal and political decision-making to humanitarian consequences, and from judicial protection to sociological mechanisms. By integrating insights from these diverse fields, this group seeks to deepen our understanding of the multifaceted nature of sanctions, their impact on targeted entities and societies, and their role in shaping international relations.

This research group aims to provide a holistic understanding of international sanctions. The findings will contribute to academic scholarship, inform policy debates, and offer insights into the design and implementation of more effective, socially responsible and just sanctions regimes.


From a political science perspective, this research group will investigate the motives behind the imposition of sanctions, exploring the domestic and international political dynamics that drive their adoption. The analysis will delve into the complex interplay between power dynamics, geopolitical considerations, and strategic calculations that influence the implementation and effectiveness of sanctions.

Legal dimension

The legal dimension of international sanctions will be examined to assess the legal basis, legitimacy, and compliance issues surrounding their implementation. This will include a critical evaluation of the national, EU and international legal frameworks governing sanctions, examining the challenges posed by extraterritorial application, human rights considerations, and the potential conflicts with other legal regimes. Work in this domain also includes the regulation of emerging technologies such as AI and Distributed Ledger Technologies.

Economic ramifications

The economic ramifications of sanctions will be explored through an examination of their impact on sending and targeted economies, international trade, and financial systems. This analysis will encompass an evaluation of the intended and unintended economic consequences, including the potential for sanctions to exacerbate inequality, hinder development, and create illicit markets.

International relations

The role of international relations will be a key focus, with a particular emphasis on the interactions between sanctioning states, targeted entities, and third-party actors. This research group will explore the effects of sanctions on diplomatic relations, alliance dynamics, and regional stability, as well as the potential for unintended consequences and the emergence of counter-sanctions.

Sociological perspectives

Finally, this research group will incorporate sociological perspectives to examine the social, cultural, and humanitarian dimensions of sanctions. This will involve an exploration of the societal impacts of sanctions on targeted populations, including the potential for social unrest, political polarization, and the erosion of social cohesion.

The research group is interested in further exploring contributions from other disciplines.

Members of the research group:

  • Francesco Giumelli (POLSCI)
  • Y. Zeng (POLSCI)
  • O.A. Koidis (POLSCI)
  • M.B. Leusen (POLSCI)
  • Tristan Kohl (ECON)
  • Oskar Josef Gstrein (LAW)
  • Ramses A. Wessel (LAW)
  • Viktor Szép (LAW)
Last modified:09 June 2023 1.42 p.m.
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