In my essay, I explain the theory of force with regards to geo-political situations. The way in which the theory of force is applied has changed over time for some countries, but in essence, it means the same thing as it always did.
With its barest and broadest definition, the theory of force is where one group controls another. In the past, this has simply meant that one country invades another and takes it over to instill its own rules and beliefs into the country, where they then control it. It evolved in some cases so that rules were installed, but beliefs were not, though this tends to happen with globalized countries or groups that are already fairly similar.
It also has also evolved so that countries use their political power and the threat of violence to control other countries. For example, Russia often bullies smaller countries with threats to cease trading with them, or as with the Ukraine, threats to steal more of their land.
Why would different countries and cultures also instill their beliefs as well as their rules? There are several reasons for this. It is often easier to manage a group of people if they believe the same things as your people do, which lowers the amount of insurgency over time. There are also economic benefits to having them believe the same things that your country believes because they are likely to work and structure their businesses according to your beliefs; in a way that benefits the combined group as a whole. There are also long-term compatibility issues, and the fact that combined beliefs may help the people feel as if they belong to something.
The threat of nuclear annihilation is now one of the reasons why the theory of force has changed. For example, a few Islamic countries are very eager to wipe Israel off the map, and they are frequently framing the Israeli troops with horrible lies with hopes that the international community will side with them. Yet, these countries have not banded together and invaded in full force for a long time because it is believed that Israel has nuclear weapons. On the other hand, when Iran masters nuclear weapons, it is believed they will either invade, or they will follow through on their president’s promise to wipe Israel from the face of the earth.
Will the theory of force evolve any further? I believe it will because of the IT revolution that is still going on. The CIA and MI5 have over 1 million hacking attempts per day that come from China alone. It is obviously possible for countries to hack and manipulate the electronic systems of other countries. For example, in theory, there is little stopping China from targeting Greece and secretly controlling them by adjusting their election results or damaging their economy. Though obviously they haven’t done that, it is possible that one group may control another with such technological methods. If this is the case, or if there is ever a proven case of it, then the theory of force notion will have to broaden even further to incorporate cyber invasion or cyber conquest (names I came up with myself).
The idea of the theory of force has been broadened because it has evolved. The way that one group controls another has now been changed to the point where on country can decide which president is elected in a country by refusing to trade with the country if the wrong person is elected. Threats are now just as powerful as invasions. Nevertheless, control is often held for longer if one group invades another and forces their beliefs and rules on them.