The purpose of the article is to conceptualize economic sanctions in terms of international power politics. Legal and economic literature study sanctions by means of legal norms analysis and their impact on economies, companies and corporations. However, this approach misses a political component, specially the one of coercion to comply with international norms or requirements of sanctions’ initiators.
The problems of the world order is often seen through the interaction of the leading centers of power. Nevertheless there is another approach, locating actorhood in the state, which forms the world order. State acts in international affairs, it has the right of legitimate violence, it also has the ability to concentrate the economic and human resources. Obviously, the nature of the state as part of the international system has an effect on the system itself, defining its key parameters. From that point of view, some questions arise: what happens to the state? What is the effect of its transformation on the contemporary world order? Why the state is changing? What hierarchy of states exists in the contemporary world order?