User guide / Designing sanctions

Analogy finder


Enables searching through sanctions episodes with the help of a specific type, or combination, of filters to identify past cases of sanctions imposition and the most fitting analogies to contemporary cases. More than one filter can be applied per category, and the various filters can be combined across different categories to narrow down the results as needed.


Enables filtering UN sanctions episodes by the following policy objectives:

  • Non-proliferation = Restricting the use and spread of nuclear, chemical, biological, or other weapons of mass destruction related weapons, technology, material, and information.
  • Counter-terrorism = Addressing acts of terrorism, i.e. the political use of violence or threats of violence to coerce or intimidate, by non-state armed groups.
  • Cease hostilities = Achieving a temporary suspension of violence and other forms of aggressive action.
  • Agreement negotiation = Conclusion of an agreement to end a political, military, or diplomatic conflict.
  • Peace enforcement = Using military force or other forms of coercive action to compel peace in a conflict, generally against the will of the combatants.
  • Peacebuilding = Assisting the maintenance of peace through support initiatives intended to strengthen national conflict management capabilities, such as disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) or security sector reform (SSR).
  • Democracy support = Most commonly, restoring constitutionally elected governments, supporting transitional governments, and dissuading spoilers.
  • Support judicial process = Successful conduct of legal processes by international, regional, or special courts.
  • Human rights = Addressing violations of the basic rights inherent to all human beings, especially in conflict situations.
  • Responsibility to protect = Addressing particularly serious forms of violence and persecution in the case of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity.
  • Support humanitarian efforts = Supporting the provision of food, water, medical assistance, and other items required by those affected by conflict.


Enables filtering UN sanctions episodes by the underling logic behind the intended impact of sanctions on the target. That is, by whether or not they are meant to:

  • Coerce target to change behavior.
  • Constrain target in proscribed activity.
  • Signal norm violation and stigmatize target.

For more information about the three types of purposes, please consult the “Cases & episodes” section of the user guide.


Enables filtering UN sanctions episodes by the category, or combination, of mandatory sanctions measures imposed during the period:

  • Travel = Includes mandatory variants of travel ban restrictions.
  • Asset freeze = Includes mandatory variants of asset freeze restrictions.
  • Diplomatic = Includes mandatory variants of diplomatic sanctions.
  • Arms = Includes mandatory variants of arms embargoes.
  • Proscribed activities = Includes mandatory variants of restrictions on terrorism and nuclear non-proliferation.
  • Commodity = Includes mandatory variants of import and export commodity restrictions.
  • Transportation = Includes mandatory variants of transportation restrictions, including land, water, and air services and vehicles.
  • Financial sector = Includes mandatory variants of broad financial sector restrictions.
  • Comprehensive = Indicates that UN sanctions measures imposed during the episode were not limited to specific individuals, entities, commodities, or sectors of economic and other activity, but applied to all trade and financial transactions.

For more information about the different types of sanctions, please consult the “Types of sanctions” section of the user guide.


Enables filtering UN sanctions episodes by the potential impact of the specific combination of sanctions measures imposed during an episode. The impact on the population is determined by the sanctions’ level of discrimination (noted throughout the App with a green, yellow, or red target). The combined impact takes into account all mandatory sanctions imposed on the target, distinguishing between three levels of impact:

  • Low = Indicates the presence of sanctions measures with little to no impact beyond the immediate targets of sanctions. These include sanctions regimes with highly targeted travel ban and asset freeze restrictions.
  • Medium = Indicates the presence of sanctions measures with moderate impact on the population. These include arms embargoes, as well as most diplomatic and commodity restrictions.
  • High = Indicates the presence of sanctions measures with significant potential to negatively impact the broader population. These include essential commodity import restrictions, a large number of key export commodity restrictions, and comprehensive sanctions measures.

Enables filtering UN sanctions episodes by their effectiveness, in either achieving their stated purpose, or by considering the overall effectiveness of across all purposes in a given episode.

Individual effectiveness (by purpose):

Coerce
  • Effective coercion = Indicates that UN sanctions had a positive policy outcome and at least a modest contribution to coercing a change of target behavior.
  • Mixed coercion = Indicates that UN sanctions had a moderate policy outcome and at least a modest contribution to coercing a change of target behavior.
  • Ineffective coercion = Indicates that UN sanctions had a negative policy outcome or that their contribution to coercing a change of target behavior was minor, none, or negative.
Constrain
  • Effective constraint = Indicates that UN sanctions had a positive policy outcome and at least a modest contribution to constraining target’s access to resources.
  • Mixed constraint = Indicates that UN sanctions had a moderate policy outcome and at least a modest contribution to constraining target’s access to resources.
  • Ineffective constraint = Indicates that UN sanctions had a negative policy outcome or that their contribution to constraining target’s access to resources was minor, none, or negative.
Signal
  • Effective signaling = Indicates that UN sanctions had a positive policy outcome and at least a modest contribution to norm signaling and target stigmatization.
  • Mixed signaling = Indicates that UN sanctions had a moderate policy outcome and at least a modest contribution to norm signaling and target stigmatization.
  • Ineffective signaling = Indicates that UN sanctions had a negative policy outcome or that their contribution to norm signaling and target stigmatization was minor, none, or negative.

Combined effectiveness (per episode):

  • Overall high = Indicates that UN sanctions were on average effective in achieving their stated purposes. This includes cases where all applicable purposes were effective, as well as those where one result was mixed and the other(s) effective.
  • Overall mixed = Indicates that UN sanctions were on average moderately effective in achieving their stated purposes. This includes cases where all applicable purposes were moderately effective, as well as those where a combination of differently effective purposes was present (e.g. one effective, other(s) ineffective).
  • Overall low = Indicates that UN sanctions were on average ineffective in achieving their stated purposes. This includes cases where all applicable purposes were effective, as well as those where one result was mixed and the other(s) ineffective.

For more information about effectiveness, please consult the “Cases & episodes” section of the user guide.


Enables filtering UN sanctions episodes by the presence or absence of non-UN sanction measures:

  • Regional = Indicates the simultaneous presence of sanctions by regional organizations, most commonly the EU, AU, and ECOWAS.
  • Unilateral = Indicates the simultaneous presence of sanctions by unilateral actors, most commonly the US and the UK.

Enables filtering UN sanctions episodes by the presence or absence of other policy instruments. It includes the following non-sanctions measures employed by the UN as well as other regional and unilateral actors:

  • Diplomacy = Indicates the simultaneous presence of diplomatic efforts to resolve the situation peacefully.
  • Mediation / negotiation = Indicates the simultaneous presence of third-party mediation efforts or (in)direct negotiations between conflict parties.
  • Legal tribunals = Indicates the simultaneous presence of legal processes pertaining to the target and / or conflict situation.
  • Peace operations = Indicates the simultaneous presence of peace operations deployed to address the conflict situation.
  • Threat of military force = Indicates the simultaneous presence of the threat of the use of military force to address the conflict situation.
  • Use of military force = Indicates the simultaneous presence of the deployment of military force to address the conflict situation.
  • Covert measures = Indicates the presence of public information about the use of covert measures, such as targeted assassinations, covert military operations, or cyber-attacks, against the target.