Since the end of the Cold War, economic sanctions have become an essential instrument of global and national foreign policy, imposed to end civil wars, and thwart nuclear proliferation, mass atrocities, and terrorism. But over the past decade sanctions have become entangled in at least eight major humanitarian disasters. The articles in this issue explore the use of maximum pressure sanctions in three distinct contexts—Iran, Syria, and Venezuela—and suggest policy solutions and strategies to make sanctions an effective tool while mitigating their negative humanitarian impacts:

The Continuing Challenge of Sanctions Policy Reform by David Cortright and George A. Lopez
The Inflation Weapon: U.S. Sanctions and the Assault on Iranian Households by Esfandyar Batmanhelidj
Options for Leveraging Sanctions to Address the Syria Conflict by Stacia George, Hrair Balian, Nancy Azar, and Annie Charif
Sanctions, Venezuela’s Crisis, and Options for Economic Statecraft by Francisco Rodríguez