From Latin coercio, coercion is a pressure exerted on a person to force a behavior or a change in his will. Coercion, therefore, is associated with repression, restriction, or inhibition.
For example: “The presence of the police acted as a coercion for the protesters”, “The coercion paid off and the victim gave up filing the complaint”, “If the boy does not want to understand reasons, we will have to think of some method of coercion ”.
Generally, coercion is based on the threat of using violence (physical or otherwise) to condition a person’s behavior. Let us suppose that a young man is mistreated by the police and is about to file a complaint with the Justice. When he leaves his home, he finds a patrol car at the door. He arrives at the corner of his house and an officer asks for his documents. After several minutes, it lets you go on your way. Before reaching the court, he receives a phone call but, when he answers, he only hears a police siren. All these facts can act as a coercion so that the boy does not make the corresponding complaint.
It is often said that legislation works through coercion, since the threat of sanction prevents people from committing crimes for fear of the negative consequences imposed by the law. In this sense, if a person who sees how a woman neglects her purse plans to steal it, he may decide not to do so after thinking that if he is caught he will surely go to jail.
According to DigoPaul, legal coercion occurs in the rule of law, through the imposition of sanctions that are applied in the event that citizens violate a series of rules, which are limited through prohibitions. In other words, in order to consider any norm as legal, there must be a coercive power that accompanies it, which will involve the use of force to counteract a potential breach.
The penal code establishes a list of behaviors (which are outside the limits of the norms) for which a penalty must be imposed.
Peaceful coercion frequently occurs at the international level, and takes the form of a threat of sanction, which can be economic or diplomatic. It is worth mentioning that the threat of resorting to force (military intervention) is expressly prohibited by contemporary International Law.
While the Internet is an invaluable resource for education and communication, it is also used as a means of harassment through the inappropriate use of messaging systems (chat, email, mobile phone text messages) and sites such as blogs and fotologs, among others, with the purpose of exposing others and publicly humiliating them. It is a dangerous power game, which can ruin someone’s life to make someone else have a good time.
When used for coercion, the Internet becomes a threatening universe, which can expose our privacy, our bank details, our home address, and put us at risk or publicly humiliate us in front of the entire world in a matter of minutes.
Other types of coercion
From the point of view, it can be said that capitalist corporations have the power to act through coercion to control resources such as housing, water and food, vital to human beings, as in the hydraulic economy. Some point out that in an open, unregulated market, coercion has no place, since the freedom of entry that competitors have nullifies the possibility of threats and a potential monopoly.