Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


International Studies (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Bruce Bagley

Second Committee Member

Roget Kanet

Third Committee Member

Ambler Moss

Fourth Committee Member

Owen Kahn


Coercive diplomacy has been utilized throughout history as a tool of foreign policy to present a peaceful alternative and means to curtail military intervention or escalation to warfare. It is a diplomatic method used by a country in which the application of economic sanctions or embargoes, as well as the use of force or military action, is threatened or hinted at in order to force another country to give in to a certain demand or not engage in a particular course of action. What has perplexed international theorists and policy makers is under what political circumstances or crisis conditions can coercive diplomacy be applied today as a viable tool of foreign policy. This study addresses specifically under what conditions can coercive diplomacy be successfully applied and what elements, if lacking could result in its failure. However, this study analyzes how this framework alone, without considering the operational code of the political leaders and the role of intelligence, is deficient in providing the decision makers with a more integrated and informed situational picture. The primary objective is to evaluate the usefulness of economic sanctions and embargoes as effective tools of coercive diplomacy in stemming the possible eruption of conflict or dissuade aggression in conjunction with assessing the political leader’s operational code and the role of intelligence as a new three prong analytical framework.


coercive diplomacy; intelligence; operational code; economic sanctions; embargo; foreign policy