Myanmar: The limits of sanctions

By Andray Abrahamian – The Interpreter – Thursday, 2 November 2017

Imposing sanctions always creates challenges. Sanctions provide targeted states with an excuse to shift blame onto outside forces. They tend to concentrate wealth into the hands of the most politically connected. They are rarely powerful enough to shift behaviour, especially when the behaviour being condemned is seen by the target state as a core security concern.

So although the US State Department announced this week that it is considering new sanctions against Myanmar due to the atrocities in Rakhine State, any such sanctions are unlikely to have much impact.

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