Sanctions as War

Anti-Imperialist Perspectives on American Geo-Economic Strategy


Volume Editors: and
Sanctions as War: Anti-imperialist Perspectives on American Geo-Economic Strategy offers the first comprehensive account of economic sanctions as a tool for exercising American power on the global stage. Since the 1980s, the US has steadily increased its reliance on economic sanctions, or the imposition of extensive financial penalties for violation of given rules, to fight its foreign policy battles. Perceived as a less costly and damaging alternative to kinetic military engagement, economic sanctions have been levied against over 25 other countries. In the process, sanctions have destroyed thousands of innocent lives and wreaked inestimable damages to civil society.

To understand how sanctions function as a war-making strategy, this collection offers chapters that address the theory and history of economic sanctions as well as chapter-length case studies of sanctions exercised against the civilian populations of Iraq, Venezuela, and other nations.

Contiributors are: Shireen Al-Adeimi; Tim Beal; Renate Bridenthal; Jesse Bucher; Stuart Davis; Gregory Elich; Manu Karuka; Jeremy Kuzmarov; Fangfei Lin; Washington Mazorodze; Tanner Mirrlees; Corinna Mullin; Junki Nakahara; Nima Nakhaei; Immanuel Ness; Sarah Raymundo; Muhammad Sahimi; Saif Shahin; Greg Shupak; Gregory Wilpert; Zhun Xu; Helen Yaffe

Prices from (excl. shipping):

Add to Cart
Stuart Davis is Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the City University of New York, Baruch College.

Immanuel Ness is Professor of Political Science at City University of New York and Visiting Professor of Sociology at University of Johannesburg. He edits the Journal of Labor and Society. His most recent publications are Organizing Insurgency: Workers’ Movements in the Global South (Pluto Press, 2021) and The Oxford Handbook of Economic Imperialism (Oxford University Press, forthcoming in 2022).

List of Illustrations

Notes on Contributors

1 Introduction Why Are Economic Sanctions a Form of War?
  Stuart Davis and Immanuel Ness

part 1
Theorizing and Situating Economic Sanctions in International Political Economy
2 Sanctions as Instrument of Coercion Characteristics, Limitations, and Consequences
  Tim Beal

3 Hunger Politics Sanctions as Siege Warfare
  Manu Karuka

4 Economic Sanctions, Communication Infrastructures, and the Destruction of Communicative Sovereignty
  Stuart Davis

5 All the President’s Media How News Coverage of Sanctions Props up the Power Elite and Legitimizes US Hegemony
  Junki Nakahara and Saif Shahin

6 Transnational Allies of Sanctions ngo Human Rights Organizations’ Role in Reinforcing Economic Oppression
  Immanuel Ness

7 Sanctioning China’s Tech Industry to ‘Secure’ Silicon Valley’s Global Dominance
  Tanner Mirrlees

part 2
Profiles of Sanctioned Nation-States
8 US Sanctions Cuba ‘to Bring About Hunger, Desperation and the Overthrow of the Government’
  Helen Yaffe

9 The Western Frontier US Sanctions against North Korea and China
  Tim Beal

10 A Century of Economic Blackmail, Sanctions and War against Iran
  Muhammad Sahimi

11 Sanctions and Nation Breaking Yugoslavia, 1990–2000
  Gregory Elich

12 Targeted Sanctions and the Failure of the Regime Change Agenda in Zimbabwe
  Washington Mazorodze

13 Iraq Understanding the ‘Sanctions Warfare Regime’
  Nima Nakhaei

14 Writing out Empire The Case of the Syria Sanctions
  Greg Shupak

15 The Blockade on Yemen
  Shireen Al-Adeimi

16 The US War on Venezuela
  Gregory Wilpert

17 Trying to Unbalance Russia The Fraudulent Origins and Impact of US Sanctions on Russia
  Jeremy Kuzmarov

18 The Political Economy of US Sanctions against China
  Zhun Xu and Fangfei Lin

part 3
Resistance to Economic Sanctions and Economic Sanctions as Resistance
19 Blowback to US Sanctions Policy
  Renate Bridenthal

20 International Solidarity against US Counterinsurgency
  Sarah Raymundo

21 Boycott and Sanctions as Tactics in the South African Anti-Apartheid Movement
  Jesse Bucher and Stuart Davis

22 Settler Colonialism, Imperialism and Sanctions from Below Palestine and the bds Movement
  Corinna Mullin

23 Epilogue
  Stuart Davis and Immanuel Ness


All interested in anti-imperialist critiques of US foreign policy from an academic or activist standpoint; area specialists in the Middle East, Latin America, or South Asia.
  • Collapse
  • Expand