Speakers: So Jin Lee, Grand Strategy, Security, and Statecraft Postdoctoral Fellow, International Security Program; Pei-Yu Wei, Ph.D. Candidate, Political Science, Duke University

What impacts domestic support for economic sanctions? Although existing research on sanctions and public opinion have focused on how sanctions have impacted or shifted public opinion in target states, domestic factors are also important determinants in the implementation and design of economic foreign policy, including sanctions. Yet, less work has been undertaken to distill the roots of public support for economic sanctions, despite research showing policymakers benefit politically from imposing economic sanctions and are incentivized to use sanctions as a tool to "play to the home crowd."  What, though, are the conditions under which the public of the sanction-sending state would lend their support to sanctions? Specifically, how does an individual's disposition towards using punitive measures affect their support (or lack of) for different sanctions? 

The speakers propose a dispositional theory of punishment and revenge composed of four types: Disciplinarian, Empathizer, Utilitarian, and Avenger. Varying levels of prioritizing morality, efficacy, and/or legitimacy will separate the four different types, which will allow us to theorize under which conditions each type would support or oppose a sanction. Using a conjoint survey experiment on U.S. adults that manipulates a wide array of sanctioning details (e.g. the target state, multilateral vs. unilateral, type of offense, type of sanction, cost to the sender state vs. target state, targeted vs. comprehensive, etc.) as well as a battery of pretreatment questions to measure the individuals' disposition towards punishment, the speakers plan to examine the determinants of public support for economic sanctions.

Everyone is welcome to join us online via Zoom! Please register in advance for this seminar: https://harvard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMkc-2uqjIjHtYgvSKjeIQYWO7yzHffEjo9

For more information, email the International Security Program Assistant at susan_lynch@harvard.edu.