An Executive Dimension of the U.S. Sanctions Policy

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2022-66-3-23-32
I. Timofeev,
Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University), The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, 76, Vernadskogo Prosp., Moscow, 119454, Russian Federation.

Received 07.07.2021.


The article deals with the institutional performance of the U.S. executive power on the policy of sanctions. The topic is much less reflected in the literature in comparison with “canonical” issues like sanctions efficiency or particular case-studies of sanctions implementation. The goal is to fill in the gap in the literature on the following research questions. How do the U.S. sanctions policy executive institutions work? What is an extant of their involvement into the policy of sanctions? What is the balance of power between them? Why are particular institutes more active in comparison with others, and does it mean greater influence in terms of decision-making and implementation? The hypothesis implies that the U.S. executive institutions compose an imbalanced system with a skew in favor of the Department of the Treasury. However, this skew is smoothed by functional exclusiveness of other institutions and the impact of their decisions on sanctioned persons and states. “Sanctions Events Database” is used to test this assumption. Events are classified in terms of their institutional initiator (Department of the Treasury, Department of State, etc.), target states or problems, types of action, etc. The data is taken from open sources. It reflects a “micro-level” of institutional performance, depicting its everyday practice. The analysis demonstrates that a majority of events are connected to the Department of the Treasury, which is most active in comparison with other institutions. The Department of Commerce initiates much less events, however, the coverage of affected persons under its restrictions may be comparable to the one of the Treasury. The Department of Justice also initiates much less events, but the consequences for targets are harder due to criminal enforcement functions of the Department. The article relies on the 2020 data-set. This data is enough to understand basic trends of the U.S. executive institutions performance related to the policy of sanctions. Still, more data is needed to avoid possible fluctuations related to particular years.


sanctions policy, sanctions, United States, executive power, institutions, event-analysis


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For citation:
Timofeev I. An Executive Dimension of the U.S. Sanctions Policy. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2022, vol. 66, No 3, pp. 23-32.

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