Repressiveis a term used to refer to the tendency to rule or control peoplethrough the application of force and violence, or by using laws thatput irrational limitations on their freedom. Repressive change,therefore, is a situation where society is forced to change as aresult of the pressure imposed on it by some other group or forces.This change can take different forms and types depending on thecauses. These changes can take the form of acculturation, diffusion,innovation, cultural loss or diffusion.
Acculturationis usually involuntary and can be defined as a process through whichculture undergoes a transformation as a result of the massiveacquisition and consequent adoption of cultural traits from adifferent culture. Acculturation occurs when cultural traits ofaliens diffuse into the culture of the local people in a large scaleeffectively wiping out the traditional culture. The other form ofrepressive change is ethnocide, which involves a complete destructionof a particular culture. Ethnocide occurs when the culture destroyedcompletely dies, and its characteristics lost making it extinct.
Themost severe form of this change is known as genocide. This involvesthe complete extermination of a particular group of people byanother. Genocide involves the use of force, brutality, and murderwhose end results is wiping out a particular culture. The other formsof severe change include modernization though less repressive thepopulation is forced to abandon their traditional ways of operationsand align themselves with the new ideas brought by technologicaladvancements. Modernization also leads to the change of culture.Mostly, the final change is caused by innovation.
Softpower is a concept that explores the possibility of being able toattract and co-opt, as opposed to the use of intimidation, force, ordishing out money as a way of persuasion. It can be defined as thecapacity to shape the predilection of others through appeal andattraction. Globally, this method has been applied in negotiatingsocial changes and influencing public opinions through comparativelynot so transparent mediums and lobbying in the influential politicaland non-political circles. A number of countries have adopted thisconcept in both their local and international affairs (Joseph, 2005).
Inthe current world where the modern conflict and war has become veryelusive, spread, and scattered, the military force alone cannot helpin combating the menace owing to the myriad challenges. It is,therefore, critical for countries to increasingly adopt the use ofsoft power in bridging the gap between war and military force toreach a peaceful ending. For instance, the military intervention bythe United States and the UK coupled with monetary appeals in theform of investments in countries, such as Iraq and Afghanistan havesatisfactorily solved the issues in the two nations. However, themilitary solutions and the use of force in handling the complicatedissues has further aggravated the problems. Therefore, these are theperfect places where soft power would deliver positive results.
Anotherdemonstration of the success of soft power was the Syria’s crisisin regards to chemical weapons. The diplomatic intervention on Syriaby the western nations saw the Syrian government succumb to pressureand consequently destroy its chemical weapons. This is a cleardemonstration of how soft power can succeed in areas where hard poweris likely to fail.
Joseph.S.N. (2005). Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics. NewYork: Perseus Books Group.