Policy:The Goals of Sanctions

From sanctions

Experts in the field of sanctions categorize the goals which sanctions can achieve as signaling, constraint, and coercion.

Signaling is an attempt to communicate a community's strong disapproval to the sanctioned entity and the public: to convey to the world that army is operating outside the bounds of legal armed conflict and this should not be tolerated, for instance.

Constraint is an attempt to directly curtail the actions of the sanctioned party: to stop a DDoS by blocking resolution of the domain name by which it locates its command and control, for instance.

Coercion is an attempt to influence the voluntary behavior of the sanctioned party: to convince an arms manufacturer to stop selling to a third party, for instance.

The success of a sanction may not be directly quantifiable, but it may be directed toward any or all of these goals simultaneously, and need only succeed in one of them in order to be effective. Signaling is the easiest of these goals to achieve. Constraint requires effective implementation to be successful, but is well within the realm of possibility for Internet sanctions, as it differs little from existing constraints placed by the community upon the actions of spammers, booters, phishers, and the like. Coercion is generally understood to be the most difficult goal to achieve, particularly with respect to a concerted adversary; in the case of Internet sanctions, it depends both upon the degree to which the sanctioned entity depends upon the Internet and the degree to which a sanction effectively constrains or increases the cost of such access.