Putting Pressure on Other Countries – Forms of Coercion

Outside the framework of formal governance, individual countries or groups of countries have several ways of protecting their interests by putting pressure on others:

  • They can offer economic inducements or apply economic sanctions (, without the prior agreement of the UN Security Council or the World Trade Organisation to legalise the action.
  • They can choose to terminate normal diplomatic relations.
  • They have several ways of using ungoverned military force – as discussed below (7.3) – though this gives rise to many further problems (7.4).
  • They can threaten to use such tactics.

In all these ways, countries are relying upon their own strength to achieve their objectives.  They are all examples of behaviour which is categorised in this book as Self-Protection, as part of a politically-calculated coercive foreign policy (


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