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Sanctions – Theory & Practice

Sanctions are an integral part of the global non-proliferation regime, allowing states to place meaningful pressure on others to abandon WMD programs without recourse to military intervention. Over time the role of sanctions in non-proliferation has expanded and diversified, leading to a complex ecosystem of political and commercial stakeholders with competing agendas and vested interests.

In parallel, dedicated networks of sanctions evaders are operating all over the world and refining methods for circumventing sanctions through the exploitation of emerging technologies, changes in global patterns of trade, and new relationships with illicit entities.

Project Alpha has a research program dedicated to overcoming these challenges to effective sanctions governance and implementation. This work is divided into four streams:

  1. Understanding the functions and limits of sanctions as a non-proliferation instrument.

  2. Crafting effective sanctions regimes against nuclear proliferation.

  3. Increasing the political will and technical capacity of international, national, and sub-national authorities to implement sanctions.

  4. Monitoring and stifling sanctions evasion.

For more information, please contact the Project Alpha sanctions lead: Christopher J. Watterson.