The author thanks Glenn Palmer, Chris Zorn, and the anonymous reviewers for their comments on earlier versions of this manuscript. All errors remain the author's.
A Story of Institutional Misfit: Congress and US Economic Sanctions†
Article first published online: 15 AUG 2013
© 2013 International Studies Association
Foreign Policy Analysis
Volume 10, Issue 4, pages 431–445, October 2014
How to Cite
2014) A Story of Institutional Misfit: Congress and US Economic Sanctions. Foreign Policy Analysis, doi: 10.1111/fpa.12032. (
- Issue published online: 6 OCT 2014
- Article first published online: 15 AUG 2013
Parting from conventional studies on economic sanctions that look at the properties of the targeted state, this study focuses on the institutional origins of economic sanctions. I observe that most US sanctions either originate from the legislative or the executive branch. Building on this observation, I argue and present evidence that the institutional origin of a US sanction has a discernible effect on that sanction's duration. An institutional approach underpins the theory I develop to explain this difference. The veto-point approach focuses on the institutional inertia bestowed upon foreign policy actions executed through law and suggests that sanctions imposed as law should last longer than those carried out by executive order. Semi-parametric duration analysis conducted on the recently released Threat and Imposition of Economic Sanctions data confirms this expectation.