Interventionism (politics)

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).[1]


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, support for world government, 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.


Non-aggressive methods include sanctions like economic sanctions, embargo, boycott, trade sanctions, political sanctions, international sanctions.

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.

Publicly organized efforts such as the peace movement and nonviolence organizations are also part of this definition. These are sometimes undertaken by religious organizations.

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)