This thesis attempts to establish a set of conditions under which explicit threats of economic sanctions work in cases where a target state has a desire to violate a norm or standard of importance to the sender state. In order to address this question, a game-theoretic model incorporating the three main stages of sanctions effectiveness is analyzed under different assumptions about the nature of the information available to the disputants and about their preferences over the different possible outcomes.
In the model developed here, the following conditions must be met in order for an explicit of economic sanctions to be effective: (1) the target state must prefer to violate a norm or standard of importance to the sender state; (2) the sender state must prefer to threaten potent sanctions; and (3) the target state must prefer to back down given a threat of potent sanctions, rather than stand firm and risk having sanctions imposed.
The findings in this thesis suggest that, whenever an explicit threat of sanctions would be effective in extracting concessions from the targeted state, the implicit threat that potent sanctions would otherwise be explicitly, and effectively, threatened is sufficient to deter the target from violating the norm in the first place. Conversely, to the extent that explicit threats of sanctions are observed, the target state will not be prepared to make concessions. The only exception is if mixed strategies are involved.