International Sanctions as a Primary Institution of International Society

  • Peter Wilson
  • Joanne Yao
Part of the Palgrave Studies in International Relations book series (PSIR)


This chapter explores international sanctions as a practice for states to collectively punish the violation of important international norms through the institutionalized authority of international organizations. More than instrumental foreign policy tools, sanction are ways for states to reaffirm core constitutive principles of international society, stigmatize transgressors and deter future norm violations. The chapter discusses the development of international sanctions since the Concert of Europe and traces how sanctioning as an international practice has shaped the institutions of great power management and war. In so doing, it shows how ‘secondary’ institutions, primarily in this case the United Nations, through institutionalized practices such as international sanctions, can change the understanding or shape the transformation of certain primary institutions.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Wilson
    • 1
  • Joanne Yao
    • 2
  1. 1.London School of EconomicsLondonUK
  2. 2.Durham UniversityDurhamUK

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