Agathe Demarais on sanctions as a foreign policy tool

Mark Leonard talks with Agathe Demarais about how sanctions work and how they can be truly effective

To load the audio player provided by Soundcloud, click the button below. This means Soundcloud will receive technical data about your device or browser, as well as information about your visit on this page. Soundcloud may use cookies and may transfer your data to servers outside the EU, where the level of data protection may not be equivalent to that in the EU. For more information visit our privacy policy.

Load player


Over the last decades, sanctions have become the West’s diplomatic tool par excellence. Faced with wars, humanitarian crises, and human rights violations, the West’s response has often been to impose sanctions to avoid resorting to military force. This week, Mark Leonard invited Agathe Demarais, global forecasting director of the Economist Intelligence Unit and author of “Backfire – How Sanctions Reshape the World Against US Interests”, to talk about how sanctions work and how they can be truly effective. Have the sanctions on Russia been successful? Is there a danger of the West becoming over-reliant on them? And will they eventually be replaced by other economic weapons?

This podcast was recorded on 24 January 2023.

Further reading


Cover image: ©

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter

We will store your email address and gather analytics on how you interact with our mailings. You can unsubscribe or opt-out at any time. Find out more in our privacy notice.