Economic sanctions and human security : overstated backfire
A large body of scholarship have shown that economic sanctions cause human suffering in target states. This unintended negative effect of sanctions might undermine legitimacy international sanctions regime. However, grave humanitarian consequences are by no means an inevitable outcome of economic sanctions. This research explores the conditions under which economic sanctions bring about humanitarian pains in targets. I suggest that sanctions instrument is an important determinant to examine humanitarian consequences of economic sanctions. Specifically, trade sanctions negatively affect human security by restraining essential humanitarian goods inflow and inflicting economic costs on the vulnerable people. On the other hand, foreign aid sanctions neither directly prevent humanitarian goods imports nor disproportionately hurt the vulnerable class of targets. In the empirical tests, I examine health adjusted life expectancy of 159 countries from 1995 to 2010 as an indicator of human security. The findings imply that human suffering of target states of sanctions is mainly attributed to trade sanctions, but aid sanctions have no systematic negative effect.