When Does the President Sanction? An Empirical Analysis

  • A. Cooper Drury
Part of the Advances in Foreign Policy Analysis book series (AFPA)


This chapter begins the empirical testing of the president’s use and modification of international economic sanctions. There are two specific decisions that the executive must make with regard to the use of economic coercion. First, sanctions must be initiated against a target. Second, once sanctions are in place, the president must decide whether to lift, decrease, maintain, or increase them. It is in this chapter that I test the decision to initiate the economic coercion. I begin by developing hypotheses that represent three models of political rationality. They represent my theoretical explanation of the conditions that lead the president to use economic sanctions. Ten hypotheses represent the international conditions, domestic political factors, and cognitive constraints in the three models; three control variables are also included. Because some of the data sources cover different periods, two different data sets are compiled. One begins in January 1966 and ends in December 1992. The other begins in January 1991 and ends in December 2000.


Foreign Policy Trade Balance Approval Rating Trade Surplus Economic Sanction 
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© A. Cooper Drury 2005

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  • A. Cooper Drury

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