When do imposed sanctions work? The role of target regime type
A number of studies on sanction effectiveness have highlighted the importance of regime type and how it affects the sensitivity of sanctioned states (target) to the economic costs of sanctions. The scholarly consensus holds that mainly because of their responsiveness to domestic audiences, democratic regimes are most likely to give in to the demands of the sanctioning state (sender). I argue that regime type is important not only in influencing leaders’ sensitivity to economic costs—which create incentives to back down—but also to the audience costs—which create incentives to stand firm. I argue that taking the audience cost into account would lead to different predictions about the effect of democracy. Particularly, I argue that the effect of democracy is inverted- U shaped, where full democracies have no higher likelihood of meeting the demands of the sender than mixed (hybrid) regimes. Using a newly released dataset on economic sanctions between 1950-2020, I find robust support for my argument.