Coercive Diplomacy or Risky Ventures: The Use of Force in International Crises

  • Jonathan M. Roberts


Clarification of the use and meaning of the word force needs to be made. Robert Bierstedt regards force as, ‘manifest power … force … means the reduction or limitation or closure or even total elimination of alternatives to the social action of one person or group by another person or group. “Your money or your life” symbolises a situation of naked force, the reduction of all alternatives to two’.2 This view is that force is power exercised. It is not strictly accurate. Force is not to be equated with power. Power is the ‘capability of a person or group to make his or its will felt in the decision-making process of another person or group’.3 Armed force is used when power fails. Power is psychological.


Armed Force Nuclear Weapon Crisis Management Military Force Crisis Situation 
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Notes and References

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Copyright information

© Jonathan M. Roberts 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan M. Roberts

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