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Considering the merits of non-coercive alternatives to economic sanctions inevitably risks the charges of idealism and naIvete. However a number of speakers in this conference have raised considerable doubts about the efficacy of sanctions: even on their own terms sanctions rarely work and the material costs to non-targeted states and the implications for human rights make their justification problematic, even when they can in some sense be said to have worked. It therefore makes sense at least to give consideration to some non- coercive alternatives, either in conjunction with sanctioning policies or separate from them. The other alternative is the use of force, which raises a host of other legal and moral considerations that are beyond the subject of this paper.


Reprinted from United Nations Sanctions and International Law, edited by Vera Gowlland-Debbas, 381-391, with permission of Kluwer Law International. DOI: