Paul Silva, II


Mentor: Dr. Zachary Selden

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

"I had Dr. Selden as an International Relations professor. I loved listening to him talk about his practical experience working for NATO in Afghanistan. During my free time last year, I read his book, Economic Sanctions as an Instrument of American Foreign Policy, and I became extremely interested in the efficacy and the effects of the ongoing EU and US sanctions on Russia. His experience with NATO and his expertise in economic sanctions made him a perfect research mentor. Because economic sanctions and economic statecraft can sometimes replace military policy avenues to achieve certain goals, I believe research on the efficacy and effects of sanctions in International Relations can potentially have life-saving implications."


Political Science



Research Interests

  • Economic Sanctions
  • Economic Interdependence
  • International Organizations

Academic Awards

  • AP Scholar with Distinction (2016)
  • Florida Bright Futures (2016 - Present)
  • UF President's Honor Roll (2016 - Present)
  • University Scholars Program (2017-2018)


  • College Democrats
  • Model United Nations


  • Mary Help of Christians, Joe DiMaggio's Children's Hospital Charity Project
  • Westglades Middle School Volunteer Tutor
  • Obama for America Canvasser

Hobbies and Interests

  • International Affairs
  • Traveling
  • Reading

Research Description

Economic Interdependence and Policy Preferences Regarding Economic Sanctions
During this project, I will examine the relationship between economic interdependence between the sender and target states involved in sanctions. I will seek to evaluate whether high levels of economic interdependence are positively correlated with an increased hesitance or opposition to the application of sanctions within the sender state. For this research puzzle, I will use the most recent major application of sanctions involving two great powers, the EU and Russia in response to the 2014 annexation of Crimea, as a case study to evaluate this theoretical proposition. It can add a nuanced perspective to the liberal international relations economic interdependence argument that highly economically interdependent states are less likely to engage in disputes through determining whether high levels of economic interdependence can predict sanctions policy preferences of domestic constituencies within the sender state. So far, I have discovered that some of the most vocal opponents of the EU sanctions on Russia come from EU member states with low levels of economic interdependence with Russia, while EU member states with the highest levels of economic interdependence with Russia are the most fervent supporters of the economic sanctions. Thus, it appears that economic interdependence among the sender state and target state involved in multilateral sanctions does not predict policy preferences among domestic constituencies.