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Peace Report 2022

How Do Sanctions Take Effect?

blue circle with text: 2022 / Friedensfähig in Kriegszeiten / friedensgutachten

With its war of aggression on Ukraine, the Russian leadership has brought suffering and destruction to the people of the country. At the same time, the aggression is shaking the European peace and security order. The effects of the war continue to be felt around the world. The Peace Report 2022 took a stand on central questions: What has led to this war and what are the possibilities to escape the logic of confrontation, violence and war?

The recommendations of the editors to the German government outlined how politics could succeed in balancing the need for defense and pressure on the one hand and the ability to achieve peace on the other. The Peace Report also focused on the need for a new concept of European security after the “Zeitenwende” (turn of the times). This concept should combine defense capability with a long-term perspective on future cooperative security structures and lasting peace.

Success and failure of sanctions

In its Chapter 4, “Institutional Peacekeeping,” the Peace Report underscored targeted sanctions as an effective political tool – if they are embedded in the context of an overarching strategy. In recent years, the EU and Germany have increasingly used sanctions or the threat of sanctions. However, the sanctions that the West imposed on Russia shortly after the attack on Ukraine are unprecedented in their severity and the speed of their implementation. Together with the arms deliveries to Ukraine, they constitute an attempt to prevent a Ukrainian defeat without directly intervening in the war. As a foreign policy tool, they are thus intended to serve the purpose of putting pressure on the Russian aggressor and getting it to engage in serious negotiations. The sanctions against Russia are thus part of an overarching strategy.

Sanctions against major powers such as Russia do not lead directly to changes in behavior. Instead, they can have an effect in the medium and long term by limiting the scope for action, according to the Peace Report. They should also be understood as a normative means to prevent other states from also violating international rules.

Moreover, sanctions alone cannot solve crises and, in the worst case, can even exacerbate emergencies and promote political repression and corruption. Therefore, the researchers noted, sanctions are not without preconditions or costs. In order to fulfill their purpose, their goals must be clearly communicated so that their success can be monitored. Furthermore, in the spirit of a value-based foreign policy, they must include clear exit strategies and intermediate goals, as well as a prudent calculation of humanitarian consequences to ensure that sanctions do not further worsen the initial situation. Chapter 4 was coordinated by Nicole Deitelhoff and Anton Peez; PRIF researchers Pascal Abb and Christopher Daase were also involved.

In further chapters, the authors of the Peace Report deal with the challenges of peaceful conflict management, the importance of feminist foreign policy, the escalation risks of the nuclear arms race, and the ambivalent position of security institutions in democracies.

Info box

The Peace Report

The Peace Report is the annual publication that PRIF has been publishing since 1987, together with the Bonn International Centre for Conflict Studies (BICC), the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg (IFSH) and the Institute for Development and Peace (INEF) at the University of Duisburg-Essen. In it, the leading German peace and conflict research institutes analyze current international conflicts, highlight trends in international foreign, security and development policy and make clear recommendations for policymakers. Interdisciplinary teams of authors from political science, sociology, ethnology, physics and religious studies work together on the five recurring thematic chapters, bringing in different perspectives: Armed Conflict, Sustainable Peace, Arms Dynamics, Institutional Peacekeeping, and Transnational Security Risks. Dr Claudia Baumgart-Ochse is the editorial director.

The Peace Report in the public discourse

With the Peace Report, the four peace research institutes involved pursue the goal of offering a central medium for dialogue between research, politics and society by providing concrete recommendations for action for the Bundestag and the Federal Government. The appointments with parliamentary groups and ministries, the Federal Chancellery and the Office of the Federal President, which follow the presentation at the Federal Press Conference, are firmly established and the exchange of mutual expertise is appreciated by both sides. In this way, constructive advice can be given on current issues and the recommendations can also be discussed critically. At the same time, a targeted dialog with the public is sought through events in cooperation with foundations, cultural and educational institutions, the churches and centers for political education.

In the media, the 2022 Peace Report was also very well received. In addition to numerous reports in the established print media and on the radio, the Peace Report was featured in a special dossier on ZDF heute and discussed in the high-reach podcast JUNG&naiv.

Graphic shows map of Berlin government district and text: Berlin Week 2022; Mon, June 20: Arrival and preparatory meeting at the Berlin office; Tue, June 21: 9:30 a.m. 9:30 a.m. Federal Press Conference 11:00 a.m. (Digital) presentation The Left Party parliamentary group 12:15 p.m. Presentation Alliance 90/The Greens parliamentary group 2:15 p.m. Federal Foreign Office 5:30 p.m. Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development; Wed, June 22. June: 1:15 p.m. FDP parliamentary group 2:00 p.m. CDU/CSU parliamentary group 5:30 p.m. Office of the Federal Chancellor; Thu, June 23: 9:00 a.m. Presentation SPD parliamentary group 11:30 a.m. Office of the Federal President 2:00 p.m. Federal Ministry of Defence

Presentation of the Peace Report in political Berlin