UN SanctionsApp Version 5.0 - Last update: July 2018

UN SanctionsApp is an analytical tool that can be used in real time by both scholars and policy practitioners who have an interest in examining, or who are working on designing and implementing, UN sanctions.

UN SanctionsApp is a Progressive Web App (PWA). It can be accessed via a web browser across different devices or downloaded to your phone for faster access. Upon installation, it will behave like a native phone app and be available offline.

To install UN SanctionsApp on your device, please follow the instructions below.

iPhone & iPad

In the Safari browser on your phone or tablet, press the share button and select "Add to home screen". Click Add (in the top right corner) to confirm the installation.


On Android devices, you will be automatically prompted to install the App on the home screen. If the prompt does not appear, click on the install button in the address bar (located to the right of the web address of the App), then select "Install". On most devices, the install button includes an arrow or a plus sign.


UN SanctionsApp can also be downloaded to your computer through Chrome or Opera web browsers. Once installed, the content of the App will be available on your desktop when offline.

Please note that other web browsers, such as Safari for macOS or Firefox, do not support the installation of PWAs on desktops.

UN SanctionsApp is managed and updated at the Global Governance Centre at the Graduate Institute in Geneva, Switzerland. Since 2014, the UN SanctionsApp team consists of Prof. Thomas Biersteker, Dr. Zuzana Hudáková, and Dr. Marcos Tourinho, who conduct scholarly research on UN sanctions and update the content of the App on an annual basis.

Thomas Biersteker

Thomas Biersteker

Thomas J. Biersteker is the Gasteyger Professor of International Security and Director for Policy Research at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID), Geneva. He previously taught at Yale University, the University of Southern California, and Brown University, where he directed the Watson Institute for International Studies. Principal developer of UN SanctionsApp, he is the author/editor of ten books, including Targeted Sanctions: The Impacts and Effectiveness of UN Action (Cambridge University Press, 2016). His research focuses primarily on international relations theory, multilateral governance, and international sanctions. His recent activities include work with the UN and Member States on the design and analysis of UN targeted sanctions. He received his Ph.D. and M.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his B.A. from the University of Chicago.

Zuzana Hudáková

Zuzana Hudáková

Zuzana Hudáková is a post-doctoral researcher at the Center for International Studies (CERI) at SciencesPo, Paris and a visiting lecturer at the Catholic University of Lille. Her research focuses on the politics of contestation and everyday resistance in authoritarian regimes and the use and effectiveness of UN sanctions. She has played a prominent role in developing both the content and the format of UN SanctionsApp since its inception in 2013. Hudáková holds a Ph.D. from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID), Geneva, where she is also a Research Associate. She is a co-author of several UN sanctions-related publications, including UN Targeted Sanctions Datasets, 1991-2013 (Journal of Peace Research, 2018). Her recent activities include consultancies and professional trainings on sanctions.

Marcos Tourinho


Marcos Tourinho is Assistant Professor of International Relations at Fundação Getulio Vargas in São Paulo. His research interests include international institutions, international law and global justice, with an emphasis on international security governance. Tourinho holds a Ph.D. from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID), Geneva, where he is also a Research Associate. His recent publications include UN Targeted Sanctions Datasets, 1991-2013 (Journal of Peace Research, 2018), Targeted Sanctions: The Impacts and Effectiveness of United Nations Action (Cambridge University Press, 2016), and The Impact of the Libya Intervention Debates on Norms of Protection (Global Society, 2016).

UN SanctionsApp contains information about all UN sanctions imposed since 1991. There are five core parts of the App:

(1) Types of sanctions

Provides an overview of all types of sanctions imposed by the UN, presented on a scale from most to least targeted (with potential scope of impact indicated). In addition to a comprehensive menu of UN sanctions, the section also includes sample text for different types of UN sanctions, drawing on language used previously by the Security Council.

(2) Cases & episodes

Presents a detailed qualitative overview and analysis of 76 different episodes within all 26 sanctions regimes imposed by the UN since 1991, including assessments of their effectiveness and links to relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

(3) Designing sanctions

To provide guidance on UN sanctions design, the section consists of two components. Sanctions checklist provides a quick overview of factors that should be considered when designing sanctions, including UN sanctions implementation, modifications, and termination options. Analogy finder identifies the most appropriate analogies to contemporary situations, filtered by key characteristics of interest (such as the type of conflict, purposes, objectives, effectiveness of UN sanctions, or the presence of other policy measures).

(4) Quick facts

Presents basic facts about UN sanctions.

(5) User guide

Presents the basic concepts and logic behind the organization of the App, guiding the user t.

The App also includes a Search function. Located in the top right corner of the screen, it provides the user with the ability to search through the content of the App.

UN SanctionsApp is based on research originally undertaken by the Targeted Sanctions Consortium (TSC), a group of more than fifty scholars and policy practitioners worldwide with interest in and specialized knowledge of UN targeted sanctions.

The TSC project was the first comprehensive, systematic, and comparative assessment of the impacts and effectiveness of UN targeted sanctions regimes and included assessments of all UN targeted sanctions regimes from 1991 to 2013. The TSC conceptual innovations include (1) a focus on case episodes within broader country cases that allows detailed analysis of changes in types and purposes of targeted sanctions over time; and (2) an analysis of effectiveness in terms of the different purposes of targeted sanctions – to coerce, constrain, or signal targets.

Since 2014, the App has been updated and maintained by a three person team, consisting of Prof. Thomas Biersteker, Dr. Zuzana Hudáková, and Dr. Marcos Tourinho, that continues its work under the auspices of the Graduate Institute in Geneva. Since its inception, the App has also provided access to text from hundreds of UN Security Council resolutions and incorporated interactive filtering features based on the TSC's original quantitative and qualitative datasets. The 2020 re-launch of the App, also includes an updated Checklist and Analogy finder (which can now be found under the new "Designing sanctions" section) and a new "User guide" section (which outlines the various sections and explains the main concepts used throughout the App).

UN SanctionsApp, previously known as SanctionsApp, was developed at the Graduate Institute, Geneva, with the support of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.

Version 1.0 (June 2013) was produced by the TSC's co-directors, Thomas Biersteker and Sue Eckert, and by Marcos Tourinho and Zuzana Hudáková, with extensive assistance from Cecilia Cannon. The App was designed and programmed by Colaco SA.

In April 2020, with the support of Global Affairs Canada, the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the App was redesigned as a Progressive Web App (PWA) by Webikon, s.r.o. At the same time, the App was renamed UN SanctionsApp to better reflect the UN focus.

The empirical content of SanctionsApp is updated on a regular basis by Thomas Biersteker, Zuzana Hudáková, and Marcos Tourinho. The assessments of effectiveness in Version 5.0 date from July 2018. In the past, content updates have been self-financed. The Government of Switzerland is providing financial support for the updates of the App between 2020 and 2023.

Neither the Graduate Institute, the Government of Switzerland, the Government of Canada, nor the App technical designers bear any responsibility for the assessments of effectiveness of UN sanctions contained in the App, or other App content, which are the sole responsibility and intellectual property of the content developers.

© Copyright 2013-2020 by Thomas Biersteker, Zuzana Hudáková, and Marcos Tourinho.

All rights reserved. No part of this app may be reproduced, translated, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior written permission from the authors, except in the case of brief, properly attributed quotations.

Biersteker, Thomas, Zuzana Hudakova, and Marcos Tourinho, UN SanctionsApp, Progressive Web App, July 2018, available at https://unsanctionsapp.com.

For more information, including the TSC quantitative and qualitative datasets, please consult the TSC website (https://graduateinstitute.ch/research-centres/global-governance-centre/targeted-sanctions-initiative), as well as research profiles of UN SanctionsApp team members:

Thomas Biersteker

Graduate Institute, Google Scholar, Research Gate

Zuzana Hudáková

Academia.edu, Google Scholar, Research Gate

Marcos Tourinho

Academia.edu, Google Scholar, Research Gate

For comments or questions, please contact [email protected].