Reciprocity and the structural determinants of the international sanctions network

Skyler J. Cranmer, Tobias Heinrich, Bruce A. Desmarais

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


The imposition of international economic sanctions is a strategic and often multilateral phenomenon of states attempting to coerce each other into altering their behavior by means of economic pain. The interlocking connections of states issuing sanctions and being sanctioned creates a network of interdependent relations and, we argue, the structure of dependencies endogenous to the network is a major determinant of the network's formation and persistence. We consider endogenous structures, both theoretically and empirically, with three foci: the tendency to sanction frequently, the tendency to be sanctioned frequently, and, most of all, reciprocity. The empirical support we find for each of these processes adds a new dimension to our existing knowledge of the sanctioning process, casts doubt upon some previous findings, and opens important avenues for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-22
Number of pages18
JournalSocial Networks
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences
  • General Psychology


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