Governments and businesses should strive to limit the use of economic sanctions, which have increased dramatically since the 1970s, advises Nicholas Mulder, assistant professor of history in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Sanctions are “pushing globalization in a more unstable and military conflict-prone direction,” Mulder wrote on the World Economic Forum’s Strategic Intelligence website, and “the most effective sanctions are often those that are merely threatened.”
The forum tapped Mulder to share his expertise on sanctions and other key trends in geo-economics for Strategic Intelligence, which seeks to help government, private sector and nonprofit constituents make sense of the forces driving transformational change in the global economy.
“There’s a lot of talk about a crisis of globalization,” Mulder said. “Practitioners and policymakers are looking for historical perspective to understand and anticipate what might happen.”
Mulder contributed essays on six trends in geo-economics, which refers to nation-states trying to achieve strategic aims through economic means. Mulder calls sanctions “the economic weapon,” which is also the title of his forthcoming book. The other trends he addressed are trade conflict; institutional and regulatory instability; security scrutiny of foreign funds; infrastructure decoupling; and strategic industrial policy.
Mulder curates a feed of recent news and research on the Strategic Intelligence site, which also features a “transformation map” that visualizes how each geo-economics trend intersects with other subject areas. Sanctions, for example, link to nine topics including financial and monetary systems, international security and Iran.
“The map provides an important resource for users seeking to understand