New Research Programme on Challenges in Sanctions Design and Implementation


Sanctions have become a common feature of international approaches to addressing threats to peace and security. Yet despite the growing body of experience regarding their use, major difficulties in sanctions design and implementation persist. RUSI aims to understand and help tackle these challenges by setting up a programme dedicated to examining the design, implementation, enforcement, and monitoring of sanctions, with a working group of internationally renowned experts at its’ epicentre. 

Meeting in London and New York, these experts will discuss the design and implementation of sanctions regimes, including those aimed at combating terrorism, military aggression, nuclear and missile programmes, and human rights abuses. The group’s discussions will advance collaboration on sanctions regimes, with a particular focus on coordinating US and European approaches. They will give detailed and timely consideration to their experiences with recent sanctions, including with innovations in sanctions design. Findings from the working group’s first round of discussions will be detailed in a report in early 2017.

This working group will inform a broader RUSI research programme. Prominent RUSI experts will examine and propose approaches to refining the UK's use of economic sanctions as a tool of coercive diplomacy. On top of this, the programme will also conduct research on the implementation of country-based sanctions regimes, such as those on Iran, North Korea, Russia and Syria, as well as provide assistance for governments and companies seeking to comply with sanctions regulations.

Dr Justine Walker, Director Financial Crime (Sanctions and Bribery) at the British Banker’s Association  commented: “We view the creation of RUSI’s new research programme as an important development and welcome the opportunity to support this initiative as it advances the necessary analysis and debate.”

This initiative is funded by a collection of public and private sector partners. Headed by Tom Keatinge, Andrea Berger, and Sarah Lain, it builds on RUSI’s long-standing expertise in country-based sanctions regimes, trends and tactics in sanctions evasion, and approaches to combating financial crime. 

For more information on this initiative, please click here


Andrea Berger

Associate Fellow

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