'Privilege, Empowerment, and Nonviolent Intervention' Published

Building on my thesis and a presentation at the Peace and Justice Studies Association 2005 conference, and co-authored with Professor Lee A. Smithey of Swarthmore College.


When the important work of third-party nonviolent intervention is undertaken by people with relative privilege, it runs the risk of hindering the empowerment of the local movements they aim to assist by replicating racist or classist dynamics in the struggle itself. By relying on the status attached to the economic, cultural, and military dominance of the Global North, nonviolent intervention organizations can facilitate a relationship of dependency that offers short-term strategic advantages but that in itself is less likely to promote the nonviolent empowerment of local movements. Sensitivity training within intervention organizations may help activists strategize in ways that avoid some of the pitfalls of operating from positions of privilege.

Downloading a Copy

Privilege, Empowerment and Nonviolent Intervention (PDF).


Boothe, Ivan and Lee A. Smithey. "Privilege, Empowerment, and Nonviolent Intervention," Peace & Change 32(1), January 2007.