Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Thurber, Ches

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of Political Science


The study analyzes how external threats in the face of multilateral sanctions can contribute to the sanctioned (target) state’s strategic adjustment in Russia and beyond. In 2014, the United States and the European Union, along with other Western allies, imposed severe economic sanctions in response to Russia’s military intrusion into Ukraine. In the Russian case, the sanctions failed to achieve their objectives and change the target state’s behavior. As a result, the country could strategically adjust its domestic and foreign policies to mitigate the damage. The key mechanisms that help explain Russia’s strategic adjustment to sanctions are an elite coalition, veto players, the centralized vs. decentralized nature of the regime, and the economy built on natural resources exports. As part of the strategic adjustment and to bolster their domestic economic capabilities, sanctioned states may seek to implement foreign policy reforms. From the perspective of foreign policy, the study shows that target states’ strategic adjustment weakens sanctions as a coercive tool of Western policymakers.


166 pages




Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type