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"Pariah States" and Sanctions in the Middle East: Iraq, Libya, Sudan

Tim Niblock
"Pariah States" and Sanctions in the Middle East: Iraq, Libya, Sudan
ISBN: 978-1-55587-962-4
ISBN: 978-1-58826-107-6
2001/241 pages/LC: 00-045981
The Middle East in the International System

"This illuminating study is a most valuable contribution to the discussion of the state of profit and loss resulting from the UN sanctions."—Yehudit Ronen, North African Studies

"The most perceptive, honest, and thought-provoking analysis of multilateral sanctions published in recent years."—Ronald Bruce St John, MESA Bulletin

"This is an excellent book, well-written and full of insight and wisdom. Niblock provides an informed, accurate assessment of the political economies of Iraq, Libya, and to a lesser degree, Sudan. Equally important, he presents a skillfully constructed and cogently argued assessment of the impact of sanctions on the governments and peoples of these countries."—Ronald Bruce St John, The Journal of Libyan Studies

"Tim Niblock's timely book is a welcome contribution to [the] debate, investigating the use of United Nations sanctions in the Middle East and their very mixed results."—Toby Dodge, International Affairs


Now Available in Paperback!

UN sanctions have become an increasingly popular weapon in the political armory of the international community—a supposedly effective means, short of war, of bringing a transgressor state- back in line. Tim Niblock challenges this view in a dispassionate analysis of the political, economic, and psychological impact of sanctions on the Middle East's "pariah" states.

Niblock establishes two criteria for assessing the utility of sanctions: Have they forced the countries concerned to stay within the framework of international law? How have they affected the development of those countries? He finds that, while sanctions have contained Iraq, Libya, and Sudan in the short term, they have if anything strengthened the three regimes at home and at the same time increased social divisions and religious militancy. Contrary to intentions, he cogently argues, the net effect has been damage to the long-term prospects for stability and good governance in the Middle East and for a secure international order.


Tim Niblock is professor of Arab Gulf studies and director of the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter. His numerous publications include Class and Power in Sudan: The Dynamics of Sudanese Politics, 1898-1985 and Political and Economic Liberalisation in the Middle East (coedited).


  • Introduction: The New World Order, Sanctions, and "Pariah States."
  • Libya's Challenge to the Western Powers, 1969-1992.
  • Unilateral U.S. Sanctions Against Libya.
  • Lockerbie and the Imposition of United Nations Sanctions.
  • The Libyan Response to Sanctions, 1992-July 1998.
  • The British-U.S. Initiative of July 1998.
  • Toward the Libyan Handover of the Accused, August 1998-April 1999.
  • The Economic Impact of Sanctions.
  • The Social Impact of Sanctions.
  • The Political Impact of Sanctions.
  • Conclusion.
  • U.N. Resolutions on Iraq, 1990-1991: The Basis for International Action.
  • The Security Council, Iraq, and Sanctions, 1991-1995.
  • Easing Sanctions: Oil-for-Food Resolutions, 1995-1999.
  • Oil Sales, Revenue, Expenditure, 1996-2000.
  • Humanitarian Goods and Economic Infrastructure: Central and Southern Iraq.
  • Humanitarian Goods and Economic Infrastructure: Northern Iraq.
  • Disarmament and Security.
  • Economy and Society.
  • The Domestic Political Dimension.
  • Conclusion.
  • The Grounds for Sanctions.
  • The Imposition of Sanctions.
  • The Effect of Sanctions.
  • A Final Assessment.