Asian Journal of PEACEBUILDING

Volume 7 Number 2 (November 2019)

Table of Contents

Special Issue: Human Security after 25 Years

Why ‘Smart’ Sanctions Still Cause Human Insecurity

Sorpong Peou pp. 265-285
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This article seeks to answer the questions of whether sanctions are ‘smart’ as designed and why if they are not. Evidence appears to suggest that smart sanctions are not ‘intelligent’ enough to change political leaders’ alleged violent behavior or to protect innocent civilians from direct or physical as well as indirect or structural violence. Targeted government officials can always find ways to outsmart the sanction sender actors by resisting the latter’s coercive efforts because of their willingness and ability to take repressive action against their people and find alternative trading partners as well as support from powerful undemocratic states. Instead of minimizing human suffering, sanctions tend to exacerbate regime insecurity and perpetuate international alliance politics. The cases of Myanmar and North Korea validate this proposition.
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