The Canadian Foreign Policy Journal (CFPJ) is a fully peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journal published three times a year by the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA) at Carleton University, in Ottawa, Canada.

The full article is available on the here.


Sanctions have become an increasingly used foreign policy tool for applying pressure short of the use of military force, particularly for middle-tier powers like Canada. In the Canadian case, however, the current sanctions regime under the Special Economic Measures Act suffers from a number of gaps which make assessing its effectiveness as a foreign policy tool extremely difficult if not impossible.

This paper examines the Canadian sanctions regime in the broader context of required capabilities, comparing it with that of the US regime under the Office of Foreign Assets Control, in order to highlight these gaps and how they might be addressed to assess the regime’s overall effectiveness.

About the Author

Michael Saunders is a defence scientist with the Centre for Operational Research and Analysis at DRDC.

About the Canadian Foreign Policy Journal (CFPJ)

Established in 1992, CFPJ is now Canada’s leading journal of international affairs. CFPJ foregrounds quantitative and qualitative methodologies, especially empirically based original studies that facilitate grounded and fresh analysis to serve theory, policy, and strategy development.

CFPJ is published by the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University and this third issue marks the end of its 30th year of publication. The publication can be viewed by following this link:

For information about submitting articles for review, subscriptions, and content contact the Journal’s Editor, David Carment, at

Picture via Adam Scotti (PMO)

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