International sanctions or international justice? Shaping political development in Myanmar


Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


International sanctions, which commonly seek to engineer target state compliance with human rights norms, often fail to deliver on their objectives. In recent years, however, a fresh approach has emerged through the rise of international justice, which can act as either a complement or an alternative to sanctions. In this article, the authors develop three hypotheses. Political change will be facilitated by: (1) lifting sanctions; (2) guarantees of non-prosecution; or (3) lifting sanctions combined with guarantees of non-prosecution. The authors test the hypotheses on Myanmar, a country that has long been subject to international sanctions, but that has rarely complied with human rights norms. Myanmar is also situated in a region where international justice is currently being applied through prosecution of former Khmer Rouge leaders in Cambodia. The authors’ test was undertaken in June 2010 through a vignette-based expert survey that manipulated international sanctions, international justice and their absence in a 2 x 2 factorial design. The findings point to the need for a consistent approach. Lifting sanctions and guarantees of non-prosecution, when applied in tandem, are thought likely to promote political change. At the other extreme, imposing sanctions and prosecuting state leaders, when done together, are also viewed as facilitators of political change, though support is considerably smaller. 国际制裁,一般是要让目标国顺从人权规范,却往往达不到目的。不过,近年来在国际司法中出现了一种新的方式,既可取代制裁,也可与之互补。本文提出三點假设。1)解除制裁;2)保证不予起诉;3)结合1)和2)有助于政治变革。作者以缅甸为例检验了这些假设。缅甸长期被国际制裁,但绝少遵从人权规范。缅甸所在地区的另一个国家,国际司法也免予起诉红色高棉前领导人。作者在2010年通过图片式专家调查对国际制裁、国际司法以及两者空缺的情况,进行了2x2因子式处理,结果发现需要一种协调的方式。解除制裁和免予起诉如果是同时实施,则可能促进政治变革,而在另一极端,如果实行制裁与起诉国家领导人同时进行,也被认为有利于政治变革,只是支持率要低得多。
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-138
Number of pages18
JournalAustralian Journal of International Affairs
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes


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