f_0019736_16812 - Economic Sanctions: A Panacea to...

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Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol. 9, No. 1, Spring 2010 192 Economic Sanctions: A Panacea to Democracy and Good Governance in Zimbabwe? Heather Chingono * Abstract Against a background of the augmented utilization of economic sanctions as a prescriptive measure to restore/establish democracy in autocratic or semi-autocratic regimes, this article seeks to explore the impact of economic sanctions on Zimbabwe’s democratization process. This article argues that imposing sanctions on Zimbabwe further rendered the prospects of democracy attainment a murky area as reflected by some of the internal and external strategies espoused by the Zimbabwe government in redressing the unintentional manifestations of economic sanctions. Palpably, the use of economic sanctions to induce democracy in Zimbabwe has to a large extent failed, yet, on the contrary it has provided an opportunity, a scapegoat, and a fertile (conducive) platform for the government to further deny citizens their political freedoms whilst blaming it on external forces. This article’s conclusions and results seek to bring out the significant policy implications related to the utilization of sanctions as an apparatus for attaining the political freedoms of people and to reveal some of the unintended outcomes of sanctions. Key words: economic sanction, democracy, governance, Zimbabwe Introduction For close to a decade now, Zimbabwe has been under the scourge of multilateral economic sanctions from a host of countries that include United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Common amongst its sanctioners, are the fundamental beliefs and values attached to principles of democracy which the sub-
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Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol. 9, No. 1, Spring 2010 193 Saharan African state has failed to meet. More so, these fundamental beliefs have shaped these states’ motives for imposing sanctions on Zimbabwe. Regarding the Zimbabwean situation, consensus prevails among the Western states that the fundamental objective of the Zimbabwe sanctions is to restore democracy and normalcy as according to the western modern standards of democracy 1 . Accordingly, the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001, adopted by the United States Congress (ZIDERA), explicitly states that its adoption was meant to “support the people of Zimbabwe in their struggle to effect peaceful, democratic change, achieve broad-based and equitable economic growth and restore the rule of law 2 . Furthermore, given the pervasiveness of non-democratic targets in the past few decades, targeted for reasons of democratic restoration or its establishment, it is pertinent to explore the impact of sanctions on democratic governance as it is deemed one of the principal reasons for sanction imposition. Accordingly, (Hufbauer, et al. 1997) carried out the most comprehensive time-series cross-national data over the period 1972-2006 on the use of sanctions in the 20 th century 3 . Empirical results of this research show that, about 49% of economic
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This note was uploaded on 02/01/2012 for the course BIOL 107 taught by Professor Gabbard during the Fall '08 term at Boise State.

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f_0019736_16812 - Economic Sanctions: A Panacea to...

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