Social change is a large group of people engaging in different activities and relationships that differ from the past whether good or bad. There are several factors that generate changes in society. These factors include; technology, ideology, competition, conflict, political, economic factors, and structural strains. These modifications affect how people define family and social relationships, how they work and generate an economy, how they educate, how they govern themselves, and finally how they make meaning out of life (Vago, 2004). One modification that will affect future societies will be how the majority of the world will begin to define how they will govern themselves. The global political landscape will continue its movement toward democratization through the year 2025 (Canton, 2007). The two key factors associated with this trend will be the continued development of information technologies and the United States sustaining power to influence other country’s government and policies. These two trends will continue to generate the spread of democracy across the globe.
This article is written to help stimulate strategic thinking about America’s foreign policy for the future. I will first define democracy, power, and the technology change theory to build a common understanding for the reader. The article will then turn to comparing and contrasting the two social change drivers. After the brief descriptions of the two social change theories, the article will explain why and how these two social drivers are stimulating democracy and what the implications will mean to the United States. I will than forecast scenarios using both power and technology change drivers showing how they will create democracy. I will conclude by providing why and how United States policy makers should use this information in order to position the United States in a place of advantage to face the challenges ahead.
Democracy is defined as a human system with the purpose of providing a governmental system where the authority of the state is based on the will of the people. Democracies can be identified by the criteria of (a) effective participation and ability of citizens to make their views known; (b) equal opportunities to participate in voting; and (c) the inclusion of all adults.
The first social change theory I will define will be power. Power is defined as a relationship between individuals or groups. Invariably, power has at least three components: force, authority and influence. For the purpose of this article we will be concerned with influence. Influence is the ability to affect the decisions and actions of others beyond any authority to do so (Vago, 2004).
The second change theory we will discuss is technology. Technology social change theory is defined as a means we use to manipulate material conditions to satisfy our needs and wants. Technology includes any process people use to manipulate their...