The Impact of Economic Sanctions on Landlocked States (Comparative Case Studies of CAR and Mali)


Anna Sharova


Landlocked states are a special category of countries whose economic and social development is associated with a number of additional difficulties due to their geographical location. Among them are: limitation of participation in the international division of labor, high transport costs and costs associated with bureaucratic procedures for crossing the borders of third countries, as well as reducing the competitiveness of exports. The African continent has the largest number of such states. Simultaneously with the indicated political and geographical feature, various sanctions are in force or imposed on a number of this category of African countries, both by the UN and states individually. The sum of these factors negatively affected the development of these states. This article examines in detail two country cases of applying international sanctions against landlocked African countries: the CAR and Mali.

The study led to the conclusion that the effectiveness of sanctions imposed against these countries and targeted sanctions against members of their political elites is low. The main damage and negative consequences are for the general population, since they directly relate to everyday life needs and requirements. For a significant part of the population of both countries, the costs of sanctions are compensated by the possibilities of the “economy of war”: illegal extraction of local natural resources, smuggling and speculation of essential goods.

Peculiarities of the country’s geographical position, lack of access to the sea, under these conditions, can serve as a factor for further “decoupling” of elites from the sanctions issue and the continuation of their policies.


international sanctions, elites, economic development, landlocked countries




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