Sanctions: Economic scalpel or trade war bludgeon?

For many followers of international affairs, the barrage of sanctions-related news in recent years will have been difficult to ignore. From Chinese steps to ban imports from South Korea in response to the deployment of an American missile system in 2017, to the ubiquitous measures taken against Russia for invading Crimea and eastern Ukraine in …

Continue reading Sanctions: Economic scalpel or trade war bludgeon?

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Dollar power, exorbitant privilege, and financial sanctions

A headline in the Financial Times on 3 October 2018 read, ‘Can Russia stop using the US dollar?’ The subheading for the article was ‘After years of US sanctions, Moscow says it can de-dollarise its economy. But its rhetoric may be easier than reality’. These article headings raise a couple of questions to be addressed …

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Cutting Another Slice of the Unknown? Rethinking Concept Cakes in Transatlantic Relations

Felix Berenskoetter writes in his book Concepts in World Politics, that there is no single recipe for ‘unpacking a concept, its meaning, function or performances’. Using the metaphor of a ‘concept cake’ he argues that different layers are always at work as we try to make sense of the world. While this metaphor may seem …

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