Empowerment theory need not remain a mystery. Efforts, such as those described in this special section, to outline more clearly the nomological network of empowerment at multiple levels of analysis will advance empowerment theory. Tough-minded rigorous research is needed to advance the concept of empowerment. Empowerment research requires us to shift our attention from a debate between the merits of research at one level of analysis versus another to building bridges between levels of analysis. We must integrate theories and methods from other disciplines and develop research strategies that incorporate qualitative procedures and the voices of the research participants. The papers in this special section take aim on these tasks and add to our understanding of empowerment.