American Sanctions and Transatlantic Relations

  • Peter Rudolf


Economic sanctions have been a favorite foreign policy instrument in the United States since the early days of the republic. In this century, economic sanctions became part of the Wilsonian vision of an international order based upon democracy and collective security; economic boycotts were seen as an alternative to military force. During the East-West conflict, sanctions, mostly export controls, were an important element of containment, but their use was not confined to East-West relations. Since the 1970s, sanctions played an important role in human rights and nonproliferation policies. In the 1990s, economic sanctions seem to have become the hallmark of American foreign policy in the 1990s.1


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  1. 1.
    See Richard N. Haass, (ed.): Economic Sanctions and American Diplomacy (Washington: The Brookings Institution Press, 1998).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    US International Trade Commission, Overview and Analysis of Current U.S. Unilateral Economic Sanctions (Washington: August 1998).Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    For this distinction see Michael Mastanduno, Economic Containment: Co Com and the Politics of East-West Trade (Ithaca/London: Cornell University Press, 1992), pp. 39–63. Without further detailed references, the following overview heavily relies on this book, which is by far the best treatment of the role of export controls in transatlantic relations.Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    See Reinhard Rode, Sicherheit versus Geschäft. Die Osthandelspolitik der USA von Nixon bis Carter (Frankfurt: Campus, 1986); Hanns-Dieter Jacobsen, Die Ost-West-Wirtschaftsbeziehungen als deutsch-amerikanisches Problem (Baden-Baden: Nomos, 1986).Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    For this position, see Gunnar Adler-Karlsson, Western Economic Warfare 1947–1967: A Case Study in Foreign Economic Policy (Stockholm: Almqvist and Wiksell, 1968), p. 45.Google Scholar
  6. 8.
    See Vibeke Sørensen, ‘Economic Recovery versus Containment: The Anglo-American Controversy over East-West Trade, 1947–1951’, Cooperation and Conflict, Vol. 24, No. 2, (1989) 69ff.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 11.
    See Peter Rudolf, Osthandel im Wandel. Die USA und die wirtschaftliche Entspannung mit der Sowjetunion (Ebenhausen: Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, 1989).Google Scholar
  8. 12.
    See Michael Lipson, ‘The Reincarnation of Co Com: Explaining Post-Cold War Export Controls’, The Nonproliferation Review, Vol. 6, No. 2 (1999), 33–51.Google Scholar
  9. 13.
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  10. 16.
    See Harald Müller, Matthias Dembinski, Alexander Kelle, and Annette Schaper, From Black Sheep To White Angel? The New German Export Control Policy (Frankfurt am Main: Peace Research Institute Frankfurt, 1994). For a systematic analysis of the ideological and institutional roots of the differences between the American and the German approach toward export controls, see Claus Hofhansel, ‘Explaining Foreign Economic Policy: A Comparison of US and West German Export Controls’, Journal of Public Policy, Vol. 10, No. 3 (1990) 299–330.Google Scholar
  11. 17.
    See Peter Rudolf, ‘Rogue Regime or Regional Power? Transatlantic Conflict over Policy towards Iran’, in Matthias Dembinski and Kinka Gerke (eds.): Cooperation or Conflict? Transatlantic Relations in Transition (Frankfurt and New York: Campus/St. Martin’s Press, 1998), pp. 137–55. For a detailed analysis of the European approach toward Iran, see Peter Rudolf, ‘Critical Engagement: The European Union and Iran,’, in Richard N. Haass, (ed.): Transatlantic Tensions: The United States, Europe, and Problem Countries (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 1999), pp. 71–101.Google Scholar
  12. 18.
    See Kinka Gerke, Die unilaterale Versuchung: Die Sanktionen der USA gegen die Handelspartner Kubas, Irans und Libyens und ihre Auswirkungen auf das Welthandelsregime (Frankfurt am Main: Hessische Stiftung Friedens- und Konfliktforschung, Februar 1997).Google Scholar
  13. 19.
    See Robert Satloff, ‘America, Europe, and the Middle East in the 1990s: Interests and Policies’, in Robert D. Blackwill and Michael Stürmer, (eds.): Allies Divided: Transatlantic Policies for the Greater Middle East (Cambridge, Massachussetts/London: The MIT Press, 1997), pp. 7–39 (31–34).Google Scholar

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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2001

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  • Peter Rudolf

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