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Revista n. 43

Revista 43

Revista UNISCI, nº 43 ( January/Enero 2017)

Full Issue/Número completo


Antonio Marquina: Editor´s Note/Nota Editorial

                        Selected Bibliography/Bibliografía Seleccionada


                                                                                    EU SANCTIONS POLICY

Clara Portela (Coordinator)

Constance Barbou

des Courières

Between Supranationalism and Inter-Governmentalism  in the European Union’s Foreign Policy: A Principal-Agent Approach of the Sanction Policy in the CFSP  Framework

Abstract: Integration in the EU Foreign Policy domain has been sporadic, preventing the EU from gaining traction internationally. However, the imposition of international sanctions has generated a great degree of member state cooperation at the EU level. From establishing a common sanctioning practice, to institutionalising the instrument as part of the CFSP toolbox, the EU sanction policy constitutes a fascinating example of delegation of foreign policy powers from the national to the supranational level.This article uses the Principal-Agent model in an attempt to make evident, as a result from the allocation of such powers to the EU, the power struggle between the national and supranational levels for the control of the sanction-making process. The analysis reveals that in spite of EU supranational bodies acquiring greater control over time, the member states have set up control mechanisms in order to limit the room for manoeuvre of the former.

Keywords:  EU sanctions, EU Foreign Policy, Intergovernmentalism, Supranationalism, Principal-Agent Model, Delegation of Power.

Burçak Birben

EU Autonomous Sanctions: Igniting a Passive  Revolution?

Abstract: This article intends to explore why there has been an increase in the imposition of EU autonomous sanctions in the last decade although they are accepted ‘ineffective’. Based on the coercive nature of sanctions within the areas of International Relations and International Political Economy, the emphasis has been put on a historical materialist approach, which advocates that the relationship between market intentions and political culture of sanctions is not necessarily deterministic, but rather dialectical. To understand to what extent market intentions play role in this strike, the multidisciplinary theory of Neo-Gramscianism is chosen to conduct an empirical analysis of case comparison. The concept of ‘hegemony’ that the relevant theory has brought forward, has motivated a research on how the EU utilizes autonomous sanctions as an instrument to obtain its political and cultural hegemony.

Keywords: EU Autonomous Sanctions, Neo-Gramscianism, Hegemony, International Political Economy, Transnational Capital Movement

Christian Hörbelt A comparative study: Where and Why does the EU Impose Sanctions?

Abstract: The use of the EU instrument of political and economic sanctions has continually been rising since 1987. However, the sanctions are used differently according to geographic vicinity, political motivation, and which security objectives the EU promotes. Clara Portela explored the European sanction regime for the period 1987-2003 and showed that the EU has different political motivations and objectives for each region and that, in particular, geographic vicinity plays a significant role for the application for sanctions. This article relates to Portela´s analytic approach from 2005 and verifies her hypotheses for the period 2005-2015. In summary, the article shows that the EU still focuses on geographic vicinity and security relevance. Only the area of sanction application has changed, moving from Eastern Europe to the Middle East.

Keywords: EU foreign policy, sanctions, Eastern Europe, European Security Strategy, European Studies, International Relations, Southern Mediterranean, Russia.

Maria Shagina  

EU Sanctions Polocy towards Post-Soviet Conflicts: Cases of Crimea, Eastern Ukraine, South Ossetia and Abkhazia

Abstract: Going beyond the focus on the sanctions´ effectiveness, this article is rather interested in the investigation of EU internal dynamics of decision-making. Looking at post-Soviet frozen conflicts, namely Crimea, Eastern Ukraine, South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the article analyses the internal tensions between Russia-friendly and Russia-hawkish states in the EU process of imposing sanction regimes. Despite potential economic losses and political tensions, in some cases the EU decides and successfully manages to impose sanctions, whereas in other cases no punitive measures are undertaken. Comparing cases with and without sanction regimes, this article aims to uncover the ´black box´ behind the EU´s decision to impose sanctions. It aims to analyze why and under what conditions the EU is ready to resort to sanctions in post-Soviet conflicts.

Keywords: EU sanctions, Post-Soviet conflicts, Russia, Eastern Europe

Alexandre Joao

Russia's Sanctions Narrative in the Ukrainian Crisis: Implications for the West

Abstract: This article examines Russia's discursive reaction to sanctions imposed by the West during the Ukrainian crisis. By portraying sanctions as a new form of containment, the Kremlin has been able to rally public opinion behind a narrative framing the crisis as the consequence of Western hegemonic ambitions against resurgent Russia. Further, withstanding and countering Western sanctions has been presented as a test of Russia's ability to remain a Great Power. As a consequence, even if sanctions were to be lifted, Moscow's relationship with the West would remain deeply problematic. Russia's foreign policy is therefore likely to remain assertive in the years to come.

Keywords: European Union sanctions policy, Russian foreign policy, discourse analysis, normative hegemony


Rohan Gunaratna        

Terrorism: Global Threat Forecast

Abstract: Three significant developments will characterize the global threat landscape in 2017. First, it is likely that the so-called Islamic State (IS) will transform itself from a caliphate-building entity into a global terrorist movement in a similar manner as Al Qaeda (AQ). Second,  the death of either the IS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi or AQ leader Ayman al Zawahiri, may lead to collaboration or possible  unification of the most powerful terrorist groups. IS, AQ and their associates will compensate for their losses in the physical space by expanding further into cyber space

Keywords: Islamic State, Al Qaeda, Global terrorism, Foreign Fighters, Cyber space

Maciej Raś Foreign and Security Policy in the Party Discourse in Poland: Main Futures

Abstract: The article examines the role of foreign and security policies in the Polish political parties discourse since 1989, trying to explain the positions of the most significant political parties on key aspects connected with these topics. In this regard, the article explains the debates and  the evolution of the parties after 1989, as well as the consensus reached, connected with Poland’s accession to the Western institutions, in particular the debate on the European Union (the accession to and participation in the EU), and Eastern Europe. This set of debates helps to understand the significant divisions that today exist among the political parties in Poland. The final part of the article refers to the impact of the last parliamentary elections on foreign policy.

Keywords: Political parties, Poland’s foreign policy, Poland’s security policy, party system in Poland