From nonviolent practice toward a theory of political power

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This article builds on foundations laid by Etienne de La Boétie to develop a theory of political power, in which violence is a marginalised and marginal phenomenon in the multiple dimensions in which power operates. This positive understanding of nonviolence depends for its success on a willingness to use our own bodies (not those of others) to preserve our own freedom and that of others, the capacity to communicate without intersubjective violence, and numbers. Using examples from nonviolent practice in Israel and occupied Palestinian territory it demonstrates that it is possible to do politics differently without the support of violence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-59
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Power
Issue number1
Early online date24 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2020


  • nonviolence
  • power
  • pacifism
  • Israel
  • Palestine
  • Etienne de la Boétie

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