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Winning Elections 2024: North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa

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In about the next 500 days, some 3 billion people of the world will engage in the most critical national elections, where the outcome will result in major socio-political federal adjustments while creating geo-political percussions across the newly emerging world. Tested will be democracies, destroyed will be economies but awakened will be Humankind. Citizenry must achieve better credibility in elections.

There are essential hot spots to observe the USA, EU, India, Indonesia, South Africa, Iran, Bangladesh, Taiwan, North Korea, South Korea, Mexico, Austria, Syria, and dozens more.

The global political landscapes, already littered with failures, speak volumes, with no further proof required as visible damage on their tactical battlefields only shows cracks on Humankind. Challenged are the election narratives and deployment strategies. Nevertheless, increasingly, the might of global public opinion, now a new phenomenon directly influencing national public opinion, will play the most critical role against the digital tempering of the hyper-cyber long, dragged-out electronic polling will only bring turns, twists, and wide-open conflicts. A silent global voice, although still undecipherable at local political rotundas, calling out commonalities of the current global problems on socio-econo-justice will increasingly echo as we go forward. 

Who will win, and who will lose in 2024?

Understanding the winning strategies: Incumbents can always hand over the keys because winning is no longer the proven art from the old school; instead, it is a brand-new science. Traditional theatrics of creating invisible monsters are now real-time do-or-die hunger games under collapsing economies. Digitization savvy moves of creating dog-whistle hate-centric social media now morphed into a globally shaken social media stirred force of opinion making globally diverse responses. Fooling all the people all the time is now primarily found in comic books. This time it is all about measuring if ‘it is the economy! Stupid’ or it is how bright are the economic development teams? Henceforth, winning elections is now hidden in conquering the economic failures and creating dignity for the openly visible damage to national citizenry across most of the nations of the free world.

Understanding the global mood: Gone are the days when national public opinion drove national politics; it is no longer, as it is now, the ‘global- public-opinion,’ like an umbrella; that opens and shuts with or without rain or sunshine but follows global winds of social justice and fairness. Unless there is proven mastery of national and ‘global public opinion,’ nations already intoxicated on their ‘happiness index’ are cheerfully convinced of their popularity of national public opinion but still in denial of why the global public opinion about them is still just the opposite. The commonality of national problems is now creating a new international union of the restless citizenry in response. A new world of many billion voices in synch interconnected on humankind issues will make enough powerful tsunamis to sway the national opinions of far too many nations. Discover the common global problems now driving the specific national public opinion.

Understanding the future of work: The absence of futuristic literacy so critically needed to read the coming future now has workforces across the free world are already in a drifting vortex; downtown office towers are losing their power of extreme luxury, remote working in control of productivity and full national employment only a misplaced notion on national economic agenda. The time has come for the global economic intelligentsia to debate the fundamental differences between the two; the ‘physicality of work’ and the ‘mentality of performance.’ Study the first industrial revolution of the mind and decide why national strategies on economic survival brought them to dust; demanding Economic Exorcism carried out by Wokeism is not the answer.

Understanding modern education: The decades-long absence of relearning due to University business education and YouTube has failed the citizenry, stealing their powers to stand up to the global age of competitiveness and now creating a lost generation across the free world. Only grassroots prosperity can fight populism; only full stomachs allow the mind to think of climate change issues. Something went wrong, and we do not require a long-awaited 4th Industrial Revolution but rather the First Industrial Revolution of Mind. The mind is hardwired like the universe; its thinking span is wide-open and limitless. Entrepreneurialism proves daily that the founder’s vision and boundaries of mind always allow the organization to achieve its maximum limits. Economic growth is an entrepreneurial challenge and not a number-crunching exercise.

Understanding new economic thinking: No, this is not an academic study but an entrepreneurial response to grand economic failures by most nations on up-skilling SMEs and re-skilling manufacturers at national digitized levels. This is not an Oscar-slap, but a narrative about new entrepreneurial thinking, henceforth very offensive to non-entrepreneurial mindsets; naivety accepted, but tactical reasoning and debate openly challenged. Nevertheless, failing to understand the ‘mindset hypothesis,’ the difference between the job seeker and job creator mindsets is the first step to getting eliminated from any serious dialogue on the subject of SME economic recovery. Failing to articulate the ‘national mobilization of entrepreneurialism’ is the second step to getting eliminated from any economic development activity as a whole. Ignoring the rise of the economic power of small and medium businesses worldwide is a grave mistake. More on Google

Understanding Election Nights: Ticker-tape celebration nights followed by riots-geared demonstration days, nationwide contested elections, openly rejected by the losing citizenry. Thumbprints, marking a cross with an ID, and one single-day election backed by national quality controls are now replaced by electronic wizardry, data manipulation, and mechanical breakdowns, so the process lingers for weeks and months and a credible future of elections instead an invitation to anarchy.

Understanding defeat, trained warriors succeed or fall, accept victory or defeat. At the same time, Machiavellians ride on the doctrine of ‘faking till you make it,’ only creating the illusion of success to linger long after the defeat. This time ignoring globally connected citizenry on such matters will create far too stronger tsunamis of the restless populace.

Understanding Economic Competency: There are only three hot national topics across the free world; Economy, economy, and economy when nations are responsible for Inflation, Recession, and Depression, and who in the country is credible enough to set up recovery deployments? Understanding new entrepreneurial thinking and options for governments:

Starting powerful economic revolutions in slow motion

The National Mobilization of SME Entrepreneurialism: Step by step, qualification criteria: The Qualification Criteria: Are 10K or 1000K SMEs within a nation qualified for up-skilling for exportability? Are vertical sectors ready for the mobilization of entrepreneurialism on digital platforms? Are chambers and associations skilled enough in such SME uplifts and exportability? Are there cooperative efforts to uplift women entrepreneurs on the national stage? Are the frontline economic development teams up-skilled enough for such programs?

Some nations are already ahead: Most countries have enough innovations but need more commercialization. Most are overqualified in their crafts but need the image and the right business direction. Most incubators need help and eventually become exhausted, like real estate projects. Most economic development programs are paper-flow issues without entrepreneurial touch.

Global age wings of the new economy: Fact: The world can easily absorb unlimited exportable ideas in endless vertical markets. Fact: Well-designed innovative ideas succeed in such additional quadrupled exports. Fact: A nation’s entrepreneurial and dormant talents can perform such tasks. Fact: The new global age skills, knowledge, and execution are now the missing links

The open challenges: Can nations articulate the planning methodology of any sizeable national mobilization of SMEs entrepreneurialism? Can countries present any qualified frontline teams with enough SME creation experiences and proven entrepreneurialism to decipher those as mentioned above? Can nations claim a national agenda designed and delivered to recognize and identify 25% to 50% of their small and medium enterprises and place them on some digital platform for increased global exposure and inactive global trading? Can nations have a system to uplift their SME sectors with courage and skills to face the global age of competitiveness? Can countries recognize such deficiencies and be ready to up-skill their frontline teams to correctly aim and design national agenda?

The Rules of engagements: Such programs are often not necessarily new funding dependent, primarily mobilization-hungry and execution-starved. They are designed as national-scale maneuvers to uplift the nation’s morale, once mandated as a customized national agenda to mobilize national talents of entrepreneurialism as a hidden treasure.

The deliverable: Once the digitization has been balanced, start with 25% to 50% high potential SME groups, plus engage key local trade groups, chambers, and trade associations, all under a clear, bold message under one national umbrella to drive the SME economy. Nevertheless, relentless in pursuit and authoritative in contents, Expothon Worldwide is tabling an extraordinary and aggressive agenda and starting a high-level global virtual events series on the digitization to the national mobilization of 25% to 50% of the small and medium business economic sector and the virtualization of the national economies to boost vertical sectors to quadruple exportability and uplift grassroots prosperity.

Understanding new entrepreneurial options for governments: Allow SMEs a tax-free window on the first few million revenues in exports, allow them to create jobs, and bring foreign exchange. Allow micro-small-medium enterprises free access to all dormant Intellectual Property. Allow academic Experts and Scientists on innovative technologies and related skills on free voucher programs. Allow SMEs enterprises free full-time MBA as 12 months interns so graduates can acquire entrepreneurialism. Allow Million plus qualified entrepreneurs to land within a nation for 5-10 years under a tax-free visa program. Allow the National Administration of Mobilization of Entrepreneurialism mandated to engage trade and export bodies.

Facing the music: Understanding The 4B Factor: when a billion workers were displaced due to the pandemic, a billion were replaced due to technology, a billion were misplaced in the wrong jobs, and now a billion are on starvation watch. Furthermore, this 4 billion digitally connected mass of people is now the most prominent force of global opinion in the history of time. Notice nations are already intoxicated with joy over the popularity of their national public opinion while having just an opposite ‘global public opinion’ on the world stage.

Every revolution is complete but with the full and equal participatory role of women. Therefore, observe and optimize the hidden talents and energize the innovative and entrepreneurial women as the two wheels of the same economic cart. If the future is essential, the role of entrepreneurial women is the second added engine to drive forward; therefore, study wisely.

Why is SME economic revolution so badly needed? At no other time in the history of civilization, so many globally connected will hold responsible the so few in power for destroying the remains of world order and bringing the world to a nuclear war. So it is time to create new landscapes of national mobilization of small and medium enterprises and stabilize raw entrepreneurialism as the savior of economies.

Understanding the global-age landscapes:

Cold Facts and Warm Realities: Entrepreneurial thinking, as success at times, is failure management; failure is often a lost battle, but not a war lost, as ultimate success is not necessarily winning the war; success is far more about understanding the battlefield, as the real victory is hidden outside the war.

A universal test of human smartness: Why not ask two basic questions? Firstly, how rapidly are the citizens of the world getting smarter? Secondly, how fast do the free world bureaucracies keep sinking their economic mandates? So, whatever may be the answer, ‘Who is fooling who’ and what is the cost of a half-baked war, and what is the price of fully baked bread?

Let us deflect this line of the query: Why is national political leadership so permanently convinced that their voters, fully immersed in anti-social-media-hate-academies, are already too dumb and dumber ‘enough’ to keep them in power in perpetuity?

 Old traditional Elections of the once single-thumb impression days with voter identity are now more like live video game manipulations. Hence, what percentage truly believes in modernized video game election results worldwide? Hungry stomachs vote smartly; Inflation, Recessions, and Depression are not fancy terms to get a doctorate rater; they are symptoms of economic failures in search of justice and intellectual skills to avoid them.

Nevertheless, then there are already Antoinette types, slipping and sliding amongst the available political punditry, crowding any national rotunda of powers of the free world, and still claiming that hyperinflationary, sky-high costs of bread should never stop the citizenry from eating the cakes. So should we now raise questions about the butter? We will deal with the Guillotines later.

 The reality test: The five-stage economic, behavioral study of the last 100 years on lifestyle growth and advancements will show how every two decades, the knowledge base of citizenry distinctively advanced for the better. For many chronic reasons, such studies are already outside the realm of overly protected academia. Furthermore, this subject is about something else other than the quantification of smartness, like IQ tests, that guides to another chimpanzee game show for another time.

A new world is emerging quickly but quietly; lookout at futuristic literacy if you wish to read the future; the rest is easy.

Naseem Javed is a corporate philosopher, Chairman of Expothon Worldwide; a Canadian Think tank focused on National Mobilization of Entrepreneurialism Protocols on Platform Economy and exportability solutions now gaining global attention. His latest book; Alpha Dreamers; the five billions connected who will change the world.

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Meeting of BRICS Foreign Ministers in Cape Town: gauging the trends ahead of the summit

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Image source: twitter @BRICSza

The meetings of BRICS foreign ministers in Cape Town on June 1-2 were awaited with notable impatience by the global community as several themes in BRICS development were very much in the spotlight throughout this year. One theme was the process of de-dollarization of BRICS economies and the possible creation of a BRICS common currency. Another theme was the discussion on the possible expansion in the BRICS core membership as nearly 20 developing economies have indicated their intention to join the block. Perhaps for the first time in more than a decade these issues made it into the Western mainstream media as the potential implications of BRICS decisions on the common currency and membership could have a major effect on the evolution of the global economic system.  

As regards the issue of the creation of a new currency, the BRICS Foreign Ministers placed the emphasis on the use of national currencies in mutual settlements. The cautious approach of BRICS to the issue of the common currency thus far may be due to the need to consider all possible modalities of such a currency, including whether it is to be used as a means of mutual settlements, an accounting unit or as a reserve currency. At the same time, it does appear that the New Development Bank (NDB) was charged with producing a blueprint of how the common BRICS currency could be created and used in mutual transactions. Fundamentally, it appears that all BRICS economies see de-dollarization and the creation of alternative settlement instruments as expedient – the question is what are the common BRICS initiatives in this area that would be seen as optimal by all core members. There may be more substantive discussions on the BRICS common currency at the August summit, with further progress made in 2024 during Russia’s BRICS chairmanship.  

With respect to the issue of the block’s expansion the BRICS Foreign Ministers have indicated that work is still ongoing on defining the criteria for new members. No concrete “priority candidates” were singled out. The gradualism in the expansion process is warranted as there may be risks associated with the expansion in the ranks of the BRICS core – the decision-making process is likely to get more complicated at a time when BRICS are set to make crucial decisions with sizeable long-term implications not only with respect to BRICS own future but also for the global economy. In the end BRICS members may come to the conclusion that expanding the BRICS core is problematic and that other formats such as the BRICS+/BRICS++ or a permanent “circle of friends” that participate in the BRICS summits may be preferable. In this respect, it is important to look at the modalities of BRICS meetings with the so-called “Friends of BRICS” that were held during the second day of meetings on June 2.     

The meetings of the “Friends of BRICS” featured such economies as Iran, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Comoros, Gabon, Kazakhstan as well as Egypt, Argentina, Bangladesh, Guinea-Bissau and Indonesia. Some of these countries were invited from within the group of those that had earlier applied to join the BRICS block, while others featured as representatives of the respective regions and regional associations of the Global South. To some degree the composition of the countries invited into the “Friends of BRICS” circle may offer insights into the format of the BRICS+ meetings at the summit in August later this year.    

Overall, South Africa is sustaining the impulse towards greater BRICS openness after the BRICS+ meetings last year during China’s chairmanship. And while a full-fledged admission of new members into the BRICS core appears unlikely in the very near term, there may be further advancements made by BRICS in developing the BRICS+ format and setting the stage for a greater cooperation of BRICS with other developing economies and regional integration blocks. As regards de-dollarization and the creation of a new BRICS currency, the most important development is that these issues are now squarely part of the BRICS agenda, which raises the prospects of material changes on this front in the coming years.   

Author’s note: first published in BRICS+ Analytics

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Has Sri Lanka Recovered from the Economic Crisis?



Sri Lanka is navigating an unparalleled economic crisis, and according to the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) annual report, the Asian Development Outlook (ADO) April 2023, the country’s GDP would continue to decline in 2023 before starting to slowly recover in 2024. In 2022, the economy shrank by 7.8%, and in 2023, it is expected to shrink by 3% as it continues to struggle with debt restructuring and balance of payments issues. The country’s efforts to stabilize its economy will be aided by reform measures including the rollback of the 2019 tax cuts and the recent acceptance of the Extended Fund Facility agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The speedy resolution of the debt issue and the unwavering execution of reforms are essential to Sri Lanka’s recovery from the crisis.

However, due to policy mistakes, global economic shocks, rivalries among the big powers, and pre-pandemic macroeconomic vulnerabilities, Sri Lanka was already in a precarious position when the crisis began. In 2022, a lack of foreign currency caused a shortage of goods that were necessary for survival, as well as an acute energy crisis that resulted in protracted power outages and traffic jams since Sri Lanka was running low on fuel. Many fell into poverty as a result of rising inflation and declining living conditions. The poor and vulnerable have suffered disproportionately from the economic crisis.

While different economic packages have been sanctioned for the island state and relatively sound political stability is on the eve, it can be perceived that an upward movement may be seen in the next year. This year is the year of policy reformations, then the reaping time will be 2024. Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan currency last appreciated versus the dollar by 4.5 percent on March 14. The writeup will therefore shed light on the prospects of economic upwardness.

Finally receiving approval from the IMF for a $3 billion rescue package for Sri Lanka, the island nation may now restructure its debt and expect economic growth in 2024. The IMF’s decision will enable for the prompt disbursement of a $333 million loan over four years to the South Asian nation, which is currently experiencing its worst financial crisis in decades. According to IMF director for Asia and the Pacific Krishna Srinivasan, Sri Lanka has been “hit hard by catastrophic economic and humanitarian crisis.” In an interview with CNBC’s Sri Jegarajah in Asia, he said, “This you can trace back to three factors: One is pre-existing vulnerabilities, policy mistakes, and shocks.”

However, Ranil Wickremesinghe, a six-time prime minister, was elected president by the nation’s lawmakers in July. Wickremesinghe congratulated the IMF in a tweet in response to the most recent IMF bailout and stated that his nation is dedicated to its “reform agenda,” adding that the IMF program is “critical to achieving this vision.”

Previously, as mentioned, the biggest economic crisis the island nation has seen since gaining independence began in early 2022, according to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, and is projected to gradually cease in the second half of this year. According to Xinhua news agency, the central bank stated its monetary policies for 2023 on January 4 and noted that the sharp acceleration of inflation that started in early 2022 reversed in October. “The Sri Lankan economy, which is projected to register a real contraction of around 8.0 percent in 2022, is expected to record a gradual recovery in the second half of 2023 and sustain the growth momentum beyond,” the bank stated.

According to a recent study by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, the GDP of the nation increased by 3.6% in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the same time in 2012. Compared to the previous quarter, when the GDP expanded by just 1.5%, this is a huge increase. This development has been attributed to a variety of factors, including increasing industrial production and greater demand for Sri Lankan exports. Particularly, the manufacturing industry has experienced rapid development, with production rising 6.9% in the first quarter of 2023. The agricultural industry has also done well, with considerable increases in tea and rubber exports. Additionally, there have been indications of a rebound in the tourism sector, as seen by a 29% rise in visitor arrivals in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the same period in 222. Given that the tourist sector has been one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and associated travel restrictions, this is particularly noteworthy.

However, since Sri Lanka’s governmental collapse and near-bankruptcy last summer, there appears to be a return to calm in the South Asian country. Fuel lines that once snaked for blocks have been removed, and a beachside area that had been the location of a protest camp for months was decorated for the holidays with Christmas lights and carnival rides. Moreover, the island’s economy still runs on a ventilator since the government has not found a solution to escape its crippling debt. Sri Lankans have come to terms with a depressing reality that includes fewer meals, smaller paychecks, and lower aspirations.

Meanwhile, instead of fixing the economy, a series of punitive tax hikes and subsidy reductions that further limited demand have brought about a semblance of stability. Although necessary, the actions are unpopular and provide fodder for the political opposition, increasing the likelihood that this administration or the one after it will back off from them. Therefore, the economy is still running on a thin line.

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Economic sanctions as instruments for foreign policy: circumstances, conditions, legality, and consequences

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Since the end of World War II and the emergence of the Bretton Woods Institutions, the idea of global rule-based order evolved considerably, the Western-led efforts to create the International Institution started with the Wilsonian vision, but that vision was cut short by the nationalist forces in Europe when Hitler and others disrupted world peace with a global conflict. The end of world war II offered an opportunity to the Western powers to make a true society and make it work, thus with the evolution of multilateralism, globalization, and international organizations helped the world to build a genuinely interconnected International system, where no nation can tread its own path but is always dependent on other nations, thus it’s every action has consequences. To achieve foreign policy objectives economic sanctions work as initial softening of the targeted country, organization, or any individual, but it’s not always the case as countries with dilapidated human rights record, war criminals, terrorists, and individuals of particular concern can be sanctioned without any reversal so that they cannot continue with their violations of international law, thus economic sanctions are not only categorized as the form of economic coercion. When we tie economic sanctions with a foreign policy we include its various implementation phases as well because without the implementation or enforcement the economic sanction will be of no use, in this case, we can term the naval blockade as an enforcer of those sanctions if we are pursuing it under the foreign policy objectives. The Central point here I want to make is that in today’s world the economic sanctions are an effective tool to achieve foreign policy objectives and the efficacy of these sanctions is because of the interconnected global economic system, in which the West is still seen as a dominant player. In this paper, we will explore various dimensions of economic sanctions under the garb of foreign policy objectives, and will thus focus on various circumstances and conditions will ascertain the legality of those economic sanctions and once imposed the strategic and economic consequences of enforcing those sanctions, in doing so we will focus on a variety of examples from the real world politics. As we are exploring economic sanctions as an instrument of foreign policy, here we won’t be able to enlist examples from WTO or UN, as they are international organizations, but we will be using examples from EU, because its both an economic and political union, but WTO and UN do ascertain the legality of economic sanctions.

Economic Sanctions.

Economic sanctions are not a new concept but it existed from ancient times and is pursued by kingdoms and states throughout history mainly as a military tool to subdue the enemy. Thus the economic sanctions have clear foreign policy undertones. But the economic sanction after the peace of Westphalia was first used by nation-states following the creation of the League of Nations (Economic Sanctions, 2019). The traditional embargo tactics emerged in the colonial era when countries developed seapower capabilities, and thus naval blockades were the main enforcer of economic sanctions (Economic Sanctions, 2019). But the development of International Organizations following the end of world war II, and later after the dissolution of soviet Union marked the beginning of a new era of the multilateral world, in which the World Trade Organization became the successor General Agreement on Trade & Tariffs the GATT  (Masters, 2017). And the new era offered new ways to enforce economic sanctions, both in terms of bilateral sanctions or organizational sanctions of any country, or any other entity. Sanctions are thus not just imposed by a country on another country, but also imposed by international and regional organizations such as the United Nations,  WTO, and the European Union.

Economic Sanctions. Circumstances and Conditions.

Economic sanctions are imposed by the nation as a coercive measure to halt any economic activity that goes contrary to the national interests of that state. But sometimes these sanctions create a dilemma, as one nation is friendly or an ally while the other is an enemy state. Like we have the case of Nord Stream II, a gas pipeline from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea (, 2017). The gas pipeline goes contrary to the United States global Liquified Natural Gas plans, as it is now set to become the largest LNG producing nation  (Anon, n.d.). The Russian pipeline will allow Germany to get Russian gas throughout the year without any disruptions as it will become a direct buyer of the natural gas, and will escape being trap in a Russia-Ukraine political scuffle. The United States to halt the construction of the pipeline imposed economic sanctions, by putting the PEES Act (Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act) into the National Defence Authorization Act, to limit the role of the Western technological firm in the construction of Nord Stream II pipeline (Atlantic Council, 2019). This decision was taken by the Trump administration in circumstances that will create a permanent dent in the US global energy future, as Germany is well connected to its European Neighbours and any direct gas link will surely extend to other countries as well, putting a question mark on its European energy market utilization plans. The sanction bill provided a few months window to Western firms to pull out of the Russian-backed pipeline. It was a result of these economic sanctions that all major Western firms withdrew from the construction putting a lid on the project for almost a year (, 2020). Thus the efficacy of economic sanctions as a foreign policy tool cannot be overruled and is used excessively in international politics. The US sanctions on Nord Stream II is an interesting case because it’s against a major power, which is Russia in this case. Quick compliance can minimize and entirely reduce the cost of economic sanctions  (Doxey, 1980). The Western companies involved in the construction of Nord Stream quickly withdrew from the project to escape the sanctions. But in the case of major industrial power like Russia, compliance is out of the question. As there is a must reaction cycle to the economic sanctions (Doxey, 1980). Russia brought back the project with its indigenous technologies and national companies to complete the pipeline, though missing a crucial completion deadline this year due to US sanctions. Another important aspect is the economic sanctions and state responsibility, as China is continuing its crackdown on Hong Kong protesters there are growing calls in the UK to impose magnitsky style sanctions on selected individuals directly linked to human rights violations in Hong Kong. These kinds of sanctions are powerful foreign policy tools to tarnish the credibility of those individuals internationally. The UK is weighing whether to impose these sanctions on China as an answer to its flouting of the terms of understanding with the UK over Hong Kong (, n.d.). State responsibility is thus the main reason for these potential sanctions, to impose costs on Chinese actions (Routledge & CRC Press, n.d.). The magnitsky sanctions were first formulated in the US, as being the economic center of the world, and the dependence of other major economic powers and institutions give it an upper hand in freezing the assets of individuals involved in violations of international law. The IEEPA, The International Emergency Economic Powers Act gives the US a comparative edge to freeze the assets of these individuals (Alerassool, 1993).

Unilateral sanctions are the most rampant form of sanctions imposed by the US on many enemy states like Iran, North Korea, and Libya, etc, while also on renegade nations like Pakistan, and few Latin American countries. (Routledge & CRC Press, n.d.). The United States is an active player in the South Asian region, as it is finding a suitable way to pull out its troops from Afghanistan, prior to that since 1970, South Asia remained a proliferation concern for the White House, as two of the leading countries in South Asia, India and Pakistan intended to acquire nuclear weapons, though there were no prior economic sanctions on Pakistan, Indian space related trade activities with the Soviet Union came under US sanctions. After the nuclear tests in 1998 US activated an economic sanctions regime on both countries, to achieve the non-proliferation policy objectives. The sanctions were imposed using The Glenn Amendment, which was enacted in 1977, which was formulated to impose on countries that detonate a nuclear device  (South Asian Voices, 2018). The economic sanctions against these new nuclear powers did achieve its intended foreign policy objectives, as both nuclear powers focused greatly on the non-proliferation aspect of these weapons, and invested a right share to beef up the nuclear command and control, to avoid theft of the nuclear device and its proliferation pathways. The sanctions were lifted later after compliance from both nations as both nations imposed a moratorium on nuclear testing and since 1998, no other nuclear test was conducted in the South Asian region.

Trade relations are either harmonious or full friction. This was the case in a recent US-China Trade relations, which saw an upward trajectory for over 2 decades and was turned into a friction saga by the Trump administration, as Trump hefty tariffs on Chinese imports. The US is leading in the innovation industry, and thus repeatedly blamed China for Intellectual Property theft, to combat this theft, US Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen and Republican Senator Ben Sasse introduced targeted legislation to punish China for the IP theft by imposing economic sanctions on Chinese technological firms (Wolfe, 2020). This particular upcoming legislation shows that the concept of economic sanctions evolved considerably and now there are a separate set of legislations for each kind of violation, which can determine the circumstances and conditions of the breach, and these set of laws provide the executive with a foreign policy tool to impose sanctions and halt any potential danger to the economy. These new targeted sanction legislation according to some experts ushered in an era of smart economic sanctions (LSE International History, 2015). These kinds of smart sanctions give a credible narrative to the sanctions as it is not targeted at the innocent people of that country who don’t pose a threat to that country’s interest but affect only those entities which are being sanctioned or whose assets are being frozen.

Modern trade relations are regulated between nations via bilateral and multilateral trade agreements, as developing and underdeveloped nations seel more trade with developed countries, these industrialized countries offer certain trade concessions in the form of market access as is the case of European Union GSP (Generalized Scheme of Preferences) plus status (Generalized System of Pr Generalized System of Prefer references HANDBOOK ON THE SCHEME OF THE EUROPEAN UNION, n.d.). This kind of trade access depends on developing countries’ human rights, environment, climate change, and level of democratic standards, and low in these indicators will automatically shun the GSP plus status for that country. This kind of trade instrument thus turns into economic sanctions as it imposes costs on that particular regime to mend its ways or lose a trade partner in Europe. The GSP plus is a strong foreign policy tool to change the attitudes of hybrid regimes.

The legality of the Economic Sanctions.

The economic sanctions imposed by any country or Multilateral organization does raise an issue of legality, as mentioned earlier that most foreign policy objectives pursued by states are based on national interests and thus to protect those interests that state can go to any length using its economic relevance or might to hurt the other state. This on certain occasions raises an issue of the legal status of those sanctions. Here we have a relevant example from the US-Iran rivalry over the decades. The US is one of the first countries to link national security with International law, and thus used economic sanctions as a foreign policy, trespassing its legality. The US economic sanctions regime against Iran since a revolution and the hostage crisis is the most sustained economic sanctions framework in the world, in 1996, the US enacted the ILSA Iran and Libya Sanctions Act  (Bhala, 1998). From that era in one form or another sanction, regimes remained in place against Iran. In 2015, a breakthrough nuclear deal JCPOA The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was signed between Iran and P5 states including the United States ended the sanction regime for a brief period of time (, 2019). Trump on winning the elections reimplemented the maximum pressure policy on Iran and breaching all International conventions announced a unilateral withdrawal from the Peace Deal and reimposed harsh sanctions on Iran (Gould, 2018). This withdrawal places the EU in a precarious position. As it saw no legal justification to withdraw from the deal, as Iran was complying as per the official IAEA International Atomic Energy Agency reports. The EU implemented its part of the deal with Iran till now. The European Union devised a trade framework with Iran to escape the US sanctions this framework is known as Special Purpose Vehicle  (ECFR, n.d.). The US over-reliance on these trade sanctions compelled some of the biggest Trump critics, Nobel Prize Winner Professor Joseph Stiglitz, that the EU and China which are under illegal tariffs, must impose joint economic sanctions on the US. Illegal coercion contributes to a sustained sanction regime (, 2020). The US  has a long history of legislation pertaining to economic sanctions as mentioned earlier that IEEPA was promulgated in 1977, the act was a replacement of the Trade with Enemy Act TEWA, in 1917  (Rogers, 1989). The repeated violation of International conventions brought the US in a very precarious situation, and two successive Presidents, President Bush, and Obama strived hard to change that image and it was the reason that the US opened to China by facilitating it to join WTO and the Obama administration did a lot to change the course of history with Iran. Which was later undone by President Trump.

The secondary economic sanctions are the right way to deal with rogue states and their leaders, as they commit mass atrocities against their own people, targeting the whole population under the stated foreign policy objective is unlawful (Fabre, 2016). The sanctions policy in the West evolved rapidly after the fall of the Soviet Union, as it was the beginning of a unipolar era, as the year 1992 saw the most number of economic sanctions imposed (PIIE, 2016). As mentioned earlier, it’s now been four decades that Iran is under a sanction regime. Many experts believe that unilateral sanctions are illegal from the perspective of international law (Marossi and Bassett, 2015). The recent Chinese opening to Latin America and Central Asia is also under the US lens, and countries relying on Chinese loans come under intense scrutiny, as most nations go to IMF and world bank to bring some monetary and fiscal discipline in their countries, the Trump administration put on notice all the renegade nations and due to United States influence in these institutions their payments were delayed or halted, this is tantamount to indirect economic sanctions, but it does violate the principles of these international organizations and is thus illegal to influence or disrupt the process if all conditions are agreed upon between that particular state and the IMF or World Bank.

Consequences of the Economic Sanctions.

There are multifaceted consequences of the economic sanctions, if economic sanctions are imposed due to economic expediency to punish or change the behaviour of nations which are involved in predatory trade or dumping practices, its outcome is always positive, But if the main reason behind imposing economic sanction is political and tied to the achieving the foreign policy objectives then it can create large humanitarian disasters. As seen in the case of Iraq, which came under sanctions regime in 1990 (Breuning, 2007). This was the beginning of globalization and due sanctions regimes in place the globalization never reached Iraq, Syria, Libya, Cuba and Iran and these are one of the worst places on earth in terms of the standards of living and security. Many of the International organizations such as FATF Financial Action Task Force, which is also known as a minilateral organization, in which powerful countries influence can label any country as a grey list or black list, if this is done through unbiased scrutiny then it’s always produced great results to cap money laundering and terror financing  (Nance, 2017). Due to political reasons FATF is used for foreign policy objectives, any grey or balck listing can tarnish a country’s economy in which the main victims are the common people. The targeted economic sanctions such as freezing of assets compel dictators to look inward and exploit the local economy to its own advantage thus creating more misery for the people, thus Humanitarian consequences are the multifold of the economic sanctions. Some economic sanctions against established major powers can bite back, as is the case of Russia and China, which devised its own sanctions regimes against the EU and United States. Russia is a major gas supplier to most of Europe, and it devised its own expediencies to deal with targeted US sanctions on its oil, gas and LNG companies, these expedencies allowed these countries to bypass those sanctions resulting in a foreign or energy policy failure for the other nations (, n.d.). The non economic assessment to gauge the efficacy of these sanctions is often carried by our political think tanks, which rarely ascertain the costs of those sanctions on those companies. But platforms like S&P Global, Bloomberg, The Economist and Forbes do come up with irrefutable data that show where these sanctions are hurting. The multifaceted consequences make it clear that economic sanctions come with ethical and legal costs for the nation who imposed such sanctions, and in case of major powers these sanctions can backfire.


All the examples explained in the paper clearly depicts that political expediency is the major impetus behind imposing economic sanctions, and these expenedicies are thus part of the larger and sustained foreign policy objective of any nation. US and EU are in military and economic alliance and thus have more potent frameworks to impose the most effective economic sanctions, new emerging powers like Russia, China India and Brazil are well placed to impose their own sanctions, but due to their precarious or ungraded position in the rule based order make their sanctions less effective. International organizations like the EU and UN are not intended to serve the foreign policy objectives of any nation in imposing heavy sanction of tariffs on any country, but due to constant blackmailing of the WHO World Health Organization, World Trade Organization and UN as a whole, under the Trump administration created so many new precedents. The EU as a political bloc can also impose economic sanctions based on its urge to achieve foreign policy goals in any particular region.

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