International Sanctions on Oil: Why Some Target States are More Capable of Avoiding Them

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This chapter examines international sanctions on oil by comparing their effectiveness in three oil-exporting states: Russia, Venezuela and Iran. It offers a new conceptual understanding of the effectiveness of oil sanctions. First, it defines what constitutes effectiveness and identifies its key parameters. Then, it examines three sets of factors that are endogenous to targeted oil-rich states which determine their ability to neutralise sanctions. The chapter introduces the concept of “sanction rents” as one of the explanatory factors about why some states are more successful in withstanding sanctions. The research reveals that understanding endogenous factors can be critical in studying the effectiveness of “smart” sanctions. This has significant implications for designing “smart” sanctions, underlying the need for persistent efforts to adjust them in accordance with the political and economic setting of target states.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of the Political Economy of Sanctions
EditorsKsenia Kirkham
Place of PublicationAbingdon, Oxon; New York, NY
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781000982299
ISBN (Print)9781032355634, 9781032355665
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2024


  • Sanctions
  • Sanctions evasion
  • energy
  • Oil
  • Russia
  • Iran
  • Venezuela
  • rent-seeking


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