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As economic sanctions have proliferated, their use has come under intense challenge. Critics differ on why they are uneasy about economic sanctions, but they are united on one crucial point: they assume that the sole justification for sanctions is behavior modification of the target regime. This article disputes that assumption and argues that sanctions are also processes through which the sanctioning community (agent) defines its identity through the act of dissociating itself from the target regime, the "troublesome or evil other." Critics as well as supporters of sanctions have often not understood this fact and consequently their analyses have been highly incomplete and very misleading.