Sanctions in Political Science

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

A sanction is an action by one actor (A) intended to affect the behavior of another actor (B) by enhancing or reducing the values available to B. Influence attempts by A using actual or threatened punishments of B are instances of negative sanctions. Influence attempts by A using actual or promised rewards to B are instances of positive sanctions. Until the mid-twentieth century, sanctions were viewed primarily as mechanisms for enforcing societal norms, including those embedded in laws. Although this normative view of sanctions continues in legal theory, ethics, political theory, and sociology, a broader usage has emerged in political science during the latter part of the twentieth century. This broader usage depicts sanctions as potentially relevant to any type of influence attempt. This usage is typically found in discussions of influence and power. The subfield of political science that has devoted the most attention to sanctions in recent years is international relations and foreign policy. Most of this research has focused on the use of economic sanctions as foreign policy tools. Here, as elsewhere in political science, more attention has been devoted to the negative sanctions than to the positive ones.A sanction is an action by one actor (A) intended to affect the behavior of another actor (B) by enhancing or reducing the values available to B. Influence attempts by A using actual or threatened punishments of B are instances of negative sanctions. Influence attempts by A using actual or promised rewards to B are instances of positive sanctions. Not all influence attempts involve sanctions. Actor A may influence actor B by reason, for example, or the provision of information without the use of sanctions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences: Second Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Pages890-892
Number of pages3
ISBN (Electronic)9780080970875
ISBN (Print)9780080970868
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 26 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)

Keywords

  • Diplomacy
  • Foreign policy
  • Inducement
  • Influence
  • Power
  • Prospect theory
  • Sanctions

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