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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Economic Warfare

Vaughan Lowe, Antonios Tzanakopoulos

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 23 June 2024

Subject(s):
Armed conflict — Armed forces — Countermeasures — Self-defence — Economic sanctions — Conduct of hostilities

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law under the direction of Professor Anne Peters (2021–) and Professor Rüdiger Wolfrum (2004–2020). 

1‘Economic warfare’ is not a term of art in international law, and it is difficult to define the concept with precision. It can be, and has been, used to describe conduct ranging from economic methods of warfare such as belligerent blockade and the strategic bombing of factory infrastructure, to decentralized economic (counter) measures in peacetime, such as trade embargoes or even boycotts voluntarily undertaken by the citizens of one State against the products of another, and to collective sanctions imposed by the United Nations (UN) Security Council (United...
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