We Who are Not as Others: Sanctions and (Global) Security Governance
The Oxford Handbook on the International Law of Global Security, Robin Geiß and Nils Melzer, eds, Oxford University Press, Forthcoming
14 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 2020 Last revised: 5 May 2020
Date Written: February 16, 2020
This paper deals with sanctions as a (global) security governance tool. It discusses the terms of the debate—the meaning of sanctions and (global) security and then traces the historical trajectory in the use of collective and unilateral sanctions in the service of security. The argument is that global security is nothing but national security projected unto the international plane. When a hegemonic concept of security, that is to say, of the existential threats ‘we’ need to protect against is imposed and accepted, and for as long as it is accepted, collective sanctions rule supreme, and can be particularly effective (but also destructive). When there is fragmentation and antagonism as to what the threats are, when there is no hegemonic national security accepted as synonymous to international security, there is a return to unilateral sanctions and a concomitant side-lining of collective security mechanisms.
Keywords: sanctions, countermeasures, global security, national security, international security, UN sanctions, collective measures, unilateral measures
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