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Manipulating the Market provides a new, more fruitful way to study economic sanctions. Instead of asking the traditional question "Do sanctions work?," it uses neoclassical economic theory, the insights of new institutional economics, and an intensive analysis of sanctions in five major Rhodesian markets to explain the more important problem of how target governments and private actors respond to the imposition of economic sanctions.
The Rhodesian crisis was one of Britain's thorniest and most important foreign policy issues in the 1960s and 1970s. The oil embargo caused a major political scandal. Yet the sanctions era, and especially the motives and performance of the white Rhodesian regime, are almost entirely unexplored in the historiography of southern Africa. Manipulating the Market contributes to the study of this period while addressing the broader theoretical question of the utility of economic sanctions.
Economicsanctions are an extremely important but poorly understood instrument of state craft. Without the aid of strong causal theories that explain how and why economic sanctions influence the behavior of target actors, policy makers cannot accurately forecast how these actors will respond to sanctions, assess the tradeoffs that arise from imposing sanctions, or improve their ability to use economic sanctions wisely. Manipulating the Market redresses this shortcoming by showing how economic sanctions generate strong societal demands for new institutions to regulate the market, and how the target government can then exploit these institutions to capture the political loyalty of powerful domestic groups. Without dismissing economic sanctions as a foreign policy tool, the author explains why devastating economic sanctions often strengthen rather than weaken target regimes.
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