Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > Do Intergovernmental Organizations Pacify or Facilitate Sanctioning Behavior?

Does shared membership in intergovernmental organizations pacify sanctioning behavior or facilitate it? Do states shy away from sanctioning a state that they are highly connected to through institutions? I argue that at the threat level, IGOs serve as a channel through which threats are credibly communicated. At the imposition stage IGOs solve bargaining problems embedded in sanctions by mitigating information asymmetries and help states solve contentious issues through enforcement and dispute settlement mechanisms. I find that states with high number of joint membership in IGOs threaten each other more often than less connected states, especially for trade-related issues. The pacifying effect of IGOs exists at the imposition stage; however, the scope of it is limited to the IGOs with a security mandate. The empirical analysis for all sanctions imposed in the years 1950-2000 suggests that IGOs with economic mandates fail to deter states from imposing trade-related sanctions. Security IGOs, on the other hand, perform well in decreasing the probability of security-related sanctions. This paper also reveals that there is a lot to learn from the variation among IGOs as well as the variation among sanctions.