Methods for Promotion of National Interests

Tue, 11/01/2016 - 00:18 -- Umar Farooq

Generally, the states adopt the following methods for the promotion of national interests.

  1. Coercive Measures
  2. Embargo
  3. Blockade
  4. Foreign Aid
  5. Tariff, Restriction and Quotas
  6. Sanctions
  7. Alliances
  8. Diplomatic Negotiations
  9. Economic aid
  10. Propaganda

Coercive Measures

Coercive measures are one of the most popular methods for the promotion of National interest. These have been frequently used by the states. According to Board the Coercive measures adopted by the states for the enforcement of national interest broadly fall into two categories.

  1. The Measures taken with in the state that do not infringe directly upon the state against whom they are taken.
  2. Measures directly operating against the Mate, that are the object of enforcement procedure.

Some of the important measures taken by the state in this regard falls under the following categories.


It is one of the techniques of economic warfare. It is some sort of restriction, full or partials, imposed on enemy state that has no alternate sources of supply or alternate market such state will greatly suffer and her economy might break down, if the embargo is imposed by the larger economic power. Following are examples of embargo:

  1. The US imposed embargo against former USSR during 1950s. when the former Czechoslovakia became communist in 1949.
  2. During the Korean War the USA applied a complete embargo against China in 1950.
  3. In 1962 US, imposed complete embargo against Cuba.
  4. In 1973 Arabs imposed oil embargo on the European countries.


This instrument is used in war as well as in peacetime. Blockade is imposed to restrict or prohibit all imports from overseas to the enemy's ports. Likewise, all exports from the enemy's ports to the overseas are prohibited. The purpose of blockade is to force the enemy to abandon a particular policy. The best examples are:

  1. US blockade against Cuba 1962.
  2. The blockade against Nepal by India.
  3. The blockade of Iraq by Security.

Foreign Aid

When a state transfers money, goods, services or technical assistances to other countries that are termed as foreign aid. It is one of the most important instruments of the promotion of national interest. The process of giving and receiving foreign aid started just after the end of World War II. The US aid to contain terrorism is the best example in this regard.

Tariff, Restriction and Quotas

Tariff, Restriction and Quotas also play a very important role in promotion and protection of national interests. A state may impose restrictions like quota, tariff unless its objectives are not fulfilled. For example, USA is the major buyer of Pakistani cotton. In order to achieve her foreign policy objective, she may refuse to buy cotton or impose quota restrictions.


This kind of punishment is supposed to be most effective but it is the least effective weapon in international community for the protection and promotion of national interests. It means total or partial boycott of the trade, investment, aid, grants and other economic relations by imposing countries against the one intended to be punished. The purpose of this action is to cripple the economy of the enemy for the promotion of national interests. Examples are.

  1. UN sanctions against South Africa on the ground of racial discrimination.
  2. UN sanctions against Iraq 1990-91.


Alliances are generally concluded by two or more nations for the protection of common interests. As a result of the alliance the protection of these common interests becomes a legal obligation, that the member states are duty bound to discharge. These alliances may be concluded for the protection of large variety of national interests. NATO, WARSAW pact, CENTO and SEATO are the best examples of Alliances. According to Prof. Robinson, "The Advantage of pursuing of the national interests through alliances, of course, lies in the translation of inchoate, common or complementary interest into common policy and in bringing the Nation's power directly to bear on questions of national interests". Prof. Morgenthau has adduced the following propositions regarding the relations of alliance to national interests.

  1. The degree of generality of common interests expressed in alliance is related to the duration of the alliance. Thus, the general alliances will be of short duration while the limited alliances shall be long lasting.
  2. The relative degree of primary of national interests expressed in an alliance is inversely proportional to the power of the nation. Thus, a weak and a strong nation will enter into alliance to defend the primary and secondary interests respectively
  3. The weaker partner of alliance is dependent on the stronger one and is tolerated as long as there is complete identity of interests between the two.
  4. Even if an alliance is based on equality it will not succeed unless there is identity of interests.
  5. A one-sided alliance, in that one party receives the benefits and the other party carries most of the burden, can be concluded only if there are complementary interests.
  6. The degree of cohesion of an alliance depends on the community of interests felt by the participants.
  7. It is not essential that every community of interests should be given the shape of an alliance because the legal ties between two nations cannot over balance the national interests of the nation.
  8. Ideology can help in strengthening the bonds of an alliance provided the alliance is based on common interests.
  9. Finally, the alliances built by the nations against a third country or common country are generally vague.

Diplomatic Negotiations

Diplomatic negotiations are other important methods for the promotion and protection of national interests. It involves the transmission of messages between foreign. ministers of the sending and host states. It is a technique of controlling arguments that normally occur between delegations of officials representing different states. Negotiation takes place with a view to achieve certain objectives. Generally diplomatic negotiations are used to reconcile the divergent interests of the state through process of "mutual give and take". So, we can say that diplomacy plays very important role in the promotion of national interests and settlement of disputes without indulging in warfare activities.

Economic aid

Economic aid also plays very important role in the promotion and protection of national interests. For example, big powers of the world provide economic aid and loans to the poor and less developed countries to promote their national interests. US aid to Europe under Marshal Plan, USSR aid to Eastern Europe, China's aid to India and Pakistan and US aid to Pakistan against terrorism are the best examples of this kind.


Propaganda can he used as an effective instrument for the promotion of national interests. According to Frankel, "Propaganda is a systematic attempt to effect the minds, emotions and actions of a given group for a specific public purpose".

The importance of propaganda as a method has greatly increased due to development in the means of communications. USA propaganda against Muslim world is the best example in this connection. Collective Security

Collective security means to stop the aggressive designs of an aggression by resorting to collective armed intervention. The system of collective security, that operates on the principle that international peace and security is the common objective to be secured by all the states through collective action against any violation of internal peace and security, also restricts the national power. Due to presence of collective security, each state is restrained from taking any action that violates the freedom. sovereignty or territorial integrity of another state. So, we can say that collective security also plays an important and contributing role in the promotion and protection of national interests.