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Interventionism is a policy of non-defensive (proactive) activity undertaken by a nation-state, or other geo-political jurisdiction of a lesser or greater nature, to manipulate an economy and/or society. The most common applications of the term are for economic interventionism (a state's intervention in its own economy), and foreign interventionism (a state's intervention in the affairs of another nation as part of its foreign policy).
The political government of a state decide actions of foreign intervention and foreign policy. Political interventionism can include methods such as sanctions on a foreign economy or international trade with similar results to protectionism, or other international sanctions through international cooperation decisions guarding international law or global justice. Political support or political capital, such as nationalism or ethnic conflict also decide foreign intervention actions such as occupation, nation-building and national security policies.
The objectives of a policy for foreign intervention can be philosophical, religious or scientific based on the different ideological foundations supporting the policy.
Example of objectives are national security, scientific systemic concern of systemic bias in international relations theory, policy of balancing as a goal for balance of power in international relations or balance of threat.
International relations are developed through international cooperation and international organizations giving rise to military alliance, cooperation through a trade pact or development of a trade bloc. These can set common policies of foreign intervention through bilateralism or multilateralism, and international agreement on a treaty.
The development of international law is also done through international cooperation and organizations with implications for foreign intervention actions.
There are varying methods on foreign intervention from participants including government, military, international, corporate, religious and public efforts reflecting their respective objectives, interests and ideologies.
Foreign intervention methods that are physically passive and do not use violence are non-aggressive.
Additionally, media or information methods, including information warfare, propaganda, advertising, political symbolism, media democracy, and freedom of information may be used to gain political capital and support for political reform.
United States military strategies like military operations other than war and Civil-Military Co-operation are examples of non-aggressive methods used to deal with asymmetric warfare in the War on Terrorism, as well as winning hearts and minds (Iraq)
Ideologies for supporting or opposing varying degrees of foreign intervention in international relations can have philosophical, religious or scientific origins.
Within political philosophy there are variations giving ideological foundation and reasoning to different degrees of foreign interventionism. Political doctrines are often the expressed views for such belief systems, such as a foreign policy doctrine (usually of philosophical origin) or like the Doctrine for Just War (of religious origin). Military science through military doctrine and military strategy also include geopolitical strategy.
International relations theory is the scientific study of such policies, methods and paradigms resulting in scientific modelling through the interdisciplinary fields of systems philosophy and systems science.
Marxist international relations theory and later World-systems approach are essentially opposing any policies of domination or hegemony such as world domination. The idea of complex interdependence argue that the decline of military force as a policy tool, the increase in economic and other forms of interdependence should increase the probability of cooperation among states.
Some theories that promote less aggressive foreign intervention are:
Theories openly supporting explicitly aggressive foreign intervention are:
Political realism states that the overriding 'national interest' of each state is its national security and survival; as well as that to ensure this security, states must be on constant preparation for conflict through economic and military build-up. Ruhollah Khomeini believed in Muslim unity and social solidarity, as well as the export of Islamic revolution throughout the world: "Establishing the Islamic state world-wide belong to the great goals of the revolution."
Examples of Foreign policy doctrines include the Bush Doctrine, the Monroe Doctrine, the Stimson Doctrine, the Truman Doctrine, the Eisenhower Doctrine, the Nixon Doctrine, the Brezhnev Doctrine, and the Kirkpatrick Doctrine.
Efforts in foreign intervention may include diplomacy to dispute resolution. The involved parties in a conflict may negotiate a peace treaty or other treaties. A state may operate as a protecting power on behalf of other states, offering foreign intervention capabilities. This is usually done by a neutral country.
International conventions may be reached by an international consensus. Ideas of equal power relationship and pacifism are sometimes used in diplomacy. Towards the end of the Cold War there was a public rationale and reasoning for a peace dividend with economic benefits of a decrease in defence spending.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) also participates, for example through combating terrorist financing. This is also the case for Interpol. Other organisations are the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and NATO.
Canada's International Policy Statement is an example of a multilateral policy.
The Bush Doctrine and United States realpolitik are seen as promoting unilateral foreign intervention. There are also programs like the extraordinary rendition by the United States in the asymmetric warfare nature of the War on Terrorism.
During the 2008 South Ossetia war there were privately hired military veterans from Israel giving military education and training; as well as other official military aid such as military advisors from the United States and Israel to the Georgian military. Later Russia intervened in this conflict in order to protect the ethnic minority group in South Ossetia, and later expressed NATO expansionism concerns.
Some social criticism is directed as anti-imperialism. Others warn that militarism and inflated military spending will result in a permanent war economy. Critics of appeasement say it can result in world war. Also, Finlandization is the process of turning into a neutral country which, although maintaining national sovereignty, in foreign politics resolves not to challenge a more powerful neighbour. Ethnic conflict can result in Balkanization.
Military intervention can result in accusations of war crimes like ethnic cleansing or genocide. The International Court of Justice handles some cases of such abuse. There is also public criticism on collateral damage in conflicts such as public infrastructure and civilian casualties. According to Choi and James (2014), Human-rights violations are the primary cause of U.S Military interventions.
There are allegations of state terrorism by the United States from its history of foreign interventions and policies like low intensity conflict or covert operations.
The United States intervened in Iraq in the 2003 invasion of Iraq citing concerns for national security and adhering to the evolving Bush Doctrine based on neoconservatism and the democratic peace theory. Disputes from ethnic conflict and the question of self-determination and independence can lead to insurgency or military occupation. Russia intervened in the 2008 South Ossetia war, but has also voiced support for any of its citizens in places like Ukraine and elsewhere. Multilateral interventions that include territorial governance by foreign institutions also include cases like East Timor and Kosovo, and have been proposed (but were rejected) for the Palestinian territories.
The United Nations and Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) are examples of international organizations which can be used to both promote or oppose foreign intervention. Scientific criticism point to multi-level governance as a better alternative for public choice theory and decision theory.
Neoliberalism points to the complex interdependence of foreign relations on economy, but there is criticism of the world economy globalization from the anti-globalization movement. Promoters of global governance and democratic mundialization organize and participate in political activism.
Critics name concerns on media manipulation and censorship like political censorship or denialism. There are accusations that embedded journalism is military manipulation of the media. There are accusations of negationism in public education and education resources. Throughout history propaganda has been used for gaining political capital and political support, like Nazi propaganda, US hegemonic propaganda or communist propaganda. There are also criticisms of monuments and statues supporting various ideologies through political symbolism, such as Nazi architecture.
There is criticism of promotion of culture of fear and the appeal to fear like the tactic of creating "fear, uncertainty and doubt" such as the expressions "the terrorists have won" and "for the children" in an appeal to emotion.