Whenever a nation acts in ways that threaten international norms and stability, it’s not long before someone is calling for sanctions in response. But are sanctions effective? Can they change the behavior of nations? And if so, what are the conditions necessary for them to do so? The Wilson Center’s Kennan Institute and the Henry M. Jackson Foundation recently hosted a conference that examined the impact, effectiveness, and consequences of U.S. sanctions past and present. We spoke with two of the participants, Meg Lundsager and William Pomeranz, and asked them to provide a summary and further analysis. That’s the focus of this edition of Wilson Center NOW

William Pomeranz is the Deputy Director of the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies of the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C.  In addition, Dr. Pomeranz teaches Russian law at the Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies, Georgetown University. Prior to joining the Kennan Institute, Dr. Pomeranz practiced international law in the United States and Moscow, Russia.  He advised clients on investment in the Russian Federation as well as on U.S. anti-money laundering requirements, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), U.S. export controls, and homeland security.  He also served as Program Officer for Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus at the National Endowment for Democracy from 1992-1999, where he evaluated grant applications and implemented projects in such areas as: the rule of law, pro-market reforms, human rights, the environment, independent media, civic education, and the development of independent trade unions. 

Meg Lundsager  is a Wilson Center Public Policy Fellow and is a former U.S. Executive Director and Alternate Executive Director for the International Monetary Fund. She consults on international economic, financial, and regulatory issues.  With the International Monetary Fund Executive Board (2007-2014), she focused on achieving effective IMF input into lending programs in Europe, securing adequate IMF resources, supporting low income countries, and strengthening IMF oversight of exchange rate policies.  She negotiated increased emerging market representation at the IMF and promoted enhanced ethical standards and internal oversight functions. As Deputy Assistant Secretary for Trade and Investment at the US Treasury Department (1996-2000), she negotiated multilateral financial services agreements and aspects of China’s entry into the World Trade Organization.   She also analyzed portfolio allocation decisions of institutional investors as an Atlantic Fellow in London.  

John Milewski is the executive producer and managing editor of Wilson Center NOW and also serves as director of Wilson Center ON DEMAND digital programming. Previously he served as host and producer of Dialogue at the Wilson Center and Close Up on C-SPAN. He also teaches a course on politics and media for Penn State’s Washington Program.