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Department of Political Science

William Akoto and Tim Peterson about trade and acquiescence to sanction threats

William Akoto and Tim Peterson, along with Cameron Thies (Arizona State) recently published a paper titled “Trade Composition and Acquiescence to Sanction Threats” in Political Research Quarterly. The paper examines the link between trade and economic sanctions. Global trade has changed considerably over the years, shifting from the exchange of goods across sectors (inter-industry trade) to the exchange of goods and services within industries (intra-industry trade). Despite this shift in trade composition, we know relatively little about how this shift affects the sanctions behavior of states. They address this issue by examining how the composition of a state's trade affects its propensity to threaten and impose sanctions or to acquiesce when threatened with sanctions. They show that targets maintaining higher proportions of intra-industry trade with senders benefit from greater resilience against economic coercion and thus are less likely to acquiesce to sanction threats. They also demonstrate that high intra-industry trade between senders and targets does not preclude the onset of sanctions threats. Their work is significant because it demonstrates that the composition of a state’s trade is important for its sanctions behavior.

The article is accessible here:

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