Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
POLITICAL SCIENCE SEMINAR
Sanctioning the Homeland: Diasporas’ Influence on American Economic Sanctions Policy
(University of Manitoba)
OCTOBER 23,2019 17:00 18:30
Abstract: Why do some immigrant groups succeed in getting the U.S. government to impose economic sanctions on their former dictators, while others do not? This paper begins by noting that the president is the pivotal player in sanctions policy and that presidents pander to voters in swing states. Therefore, the size of a diaspora’s voting block in swing states should determine whether the American government imposes sanctions on their former homeland. Considering dictatorships from 1946 to 2005, this paper finds that a one-percentage-point increase in the size of a country’s diaspora in swing states increases the probability of sanctions by 11 percentage points. It then goes on to calculate causal estimates of the effectiveness of economic sanctions on regime change. Using the size of diasporas in swing states as an instrumental variable for the presence of economic sanctions, it finds that sanctions do not have a statistically-significant impact on regime change.