Chad Ashton Brown

Unlocking Peace in Palestine

A New Perspective for a Sustainable Resolution in the Palestinian/Israeli Conflict




The Palestinian/Israeli conflict has remained a persistent and deeply entrenched issue for decades, defying conventional attempts at resolution. This paper explores the potential of Panarchy, a normative political meta-philosophy that advocates for the coexistence of multiple governance systems within a single territory, as a novel and transformative approach to address this protracted conflict. By examining the principles, and key proponents of Panarchy, this paper presents an analysis of its applicability to the Palestinian/Israeli context. It highlights the advantages and benefits of adopting a Panarchist framework, such as fostering peaceful coexistence, accommodating diverse identities, and preserving self-determination. Moreover, it outlines practical steps and strategies for implementing Panarchy in the Palestinian/Israeli region while addressing potential challenges. Ultimately, this paper contends that Panarchy offers a novel, innovative, and viable approach to resolving the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, by offering a fresh perspective on governance itself.

Keywords: Panarchy, Palestinian/Israeli Conflict, Political Philosophy, Governance Systems, Conflict Resolution, Coexistence, Self-Determination, Territoriality.




The Palestinian/Israeli conflict stands as one of the most enduring and complex conflicts of our time, defying conventional resolution efforts [1]. Decades of diplomatic negotiations, peace agreements, and international interventions have failed to achieve a lasting solution that addresses the root causes and reconciles the deeply entrenched grievances of both parties. [2]

In this context, it becomes imperative to explore alternative approaches that challenge the traditional paradigms of conflict resolution. This paper explores the potential of Panarchy, a political meta-philosophy [3] advocating for the coexistence of multiple governance systems within a single territory [4], as a unique and transformative approach to address the Palestinian/Israeli struggle.

The Palestinian/Israeli conflict has its origins deeply rooted in historical, political, and religious contexts, with competing claims to land, resources, and self-determination driving the antagonism between the two sides. Previous attempts at resolving the conflict have often centered around negotiations for a two-state solution, focusing on the delineation of borders and the establishment of separate entities, and more recently, a one-state solution, focused on incorporating both communities under one rule. [5]

However, these approaches have been hindered by complex territorial disputes, security concerns, and competing narratives, leading to an impasse that perpetuates the cycle of violence and suffering. [6]

Panarchy, on the other hand, offers a fresh perspective by challenging the prevailing Westphalian Paradigm of territorialism that underpins traditional notions of state-sovereignty and exclusive control over defined territory [7]. It proposes a framework in which multiple governance systems, reflecting the diverse identities and aspirations of different communities, can coexist within a shared space.

By divorcing governance from territorialism, Panarchy transcends the limitations of conventional approaches, acknowledging that diverse communities can have overlapping connection to the same land, without one community necessarily having exclusive control over that land. This approach opens up the possibilities for inclusive coexistence, where both Israelis and Palestinians can maintain their respective cultures, religions, and laws without the need for strict geographical boundaries.

In this framework, each community would have the freedom to maintain its own governance system, with its own laws, judicial systems, education systems, cultural institutions, and public policies, without imposing these onto the other community. This ensures that both groups can exercise genuine self-determination and preserve their unique heritage without fear of forced assimilation or marginalization.

The Palestinian/Israeli conflict serves as a clear-cut example of the limitations of territorialism as a governance model in general. The situation underscores the challenges of a “one-size-fits-all” system, where accurately representing the interests and aspirations of everyone living within a single geographical area, especially in deeply divided societies, proves to be an impossible task.

This paper will delve into the dynamics of exactly how two communities with different governments can exist and interact peacefully within the same territory. It will examine the theoretical foundations, historical precedents, and practical implications of facilitating such coexistence. Through a comprehensive examination of Panarchy’s principles and its potential to address conflicts like the Palestinian/Israeli issue, this paper seeks to contribute to the understanding of alternative paths towards not only peaceful conflict resolution, but also governance in general.

Overview of Panarchy

Panarchy offers a distinct perspective on governance and challenges the conventional understanding of state-sovereignty and exclusive territorial control. The fundamental principles of Panarchy are as follows: Principles of Panarchy:

1. Non-Territorial: Laws follow the person, instead of the territory. Governance systems are not tied to specific geographical territories. Thus, the government’s authority extends only to those who have chose it, rather than to defined territories.

2. Freedom of Association: Governments exercise jurisdiction based on the voluntary consent of individuals, rather than geographical areas. Individuals have the ability to freely join and leave governance systems of their choice, ensuring that citizens can align with the government that best represents their values and interests.

3. Individual Autonomy: No government can impose its laws, services or policies onto another individual, community or government. Each governance system operates independently, respecting the full autonomy and self-determination of other individuals and communities. Though, voluntary cooperation, coordination and agreement between governance systems is possible without compromising their distinct identities.

4. Freedom of Innovation: Individuals and communities are always free to experiment with and create novel governance systems that cater to unique needs and aspirations. This ensures a constantly evolving and diverse landscape of governance options, allowing for innovative solutions to societal challenges and promoting adaptability in response to changing circumstances. Panarchy can be defined as a system in which individuals have the freedom to select and participate in the governance system of their choice, regardless of geographical boundaries. It acknowledges the diversity of human aspirations, values, and political preferences, recognizing that no single system can adequately represent the interests and identities of all individuals within a society.

Instead of your government being decided by where you were physically born or have chosen to live, you decide your government by choosing to sign an explicit contract with the government of your choice. And instead of achieving democracy through voting for representatives, democracy is achieved through allowing individuals to “vote with their feet,” being always free to leave their government and withdraw their support from it, and join another, without being forced to leave their home and migrate to a different geographical area. [8]

All of the services traditionally offered by governments would continue, including security, arbitration, courts, conflict resolution, education, infrastructure, health, unemployment benefits, laws, regulations, etc. The difference would be that the varying packages of benefits offered by different governments (at different prices charged to their citizens), would be voluntarily selected and agreed to, rather than imposed as a monopoly over an entire geographical area, even if that monopoly is subject to majority voting by the citizenry.

The roots of panarchist thought can be traced back to the 19th-century writings of thinkers such as Paul Emile de Puydt and Gustave de Molinari. Most notably, Paul Emile de Puydt’s short 1860 article, Panarchie. These early proponents of Panarchy advocated for the voluntary association of individuals and communities with various governance systems, promoting peaceful coexistence and competition among these systems.

In de Puydt’s conception of Panarchy, the idea of diverse governments freely chosen and existing side by side within the same territory was simply an extension of the idea of economic competition. The idea was that this would foster a dynamic landscape of competing governments, each striving to deliver the best services at the most competitive costs in order to gain and maintain citizens.

De Puydt [9] writes:

Under the present conditions a government exists only by the exclusion of all the others, and one party can rule only after smashing its opponents; a majority is always harassed by a minority which is impatient to govern. Under such conditions it is quite inevitable that the parties hate each other and live, if not at war, at least in a state of armed peace. […]

On the civil level we provide against unworkable households by legal separation or divorce. I suggest an analogous solution for politics… [But] my method differs from unjust and tyrannical procedures followed in the past in that I have no intention to do anyone violence… [And] to achieve this, it is absolutely not necessary to subdivide the territory of the State into so many parts as there are known and approved forms of government.

It is not a matter of immigration. A man does not carry his native land on the soles of his shoes. I have no intention of resettling the population according to its convictions… I hope we can all go on living together wherever we are, or elsewhere, if one likes, but without discord, like brothers, each freely holding his opinions and submitting only to a power personally chosen and accepted.

Thus I demand, for each and every member of human society, freedom of association according to inclination and of activity according to aptitude. In other words, the absolute right to choose the political surroundings in which to live, and to ask for nothing else.

Then imagine… that every adult citizen is, and remains, free to select from among the possible offered governments the one which conforms to his will and satisfies his personal needs… here, where you are, without moving…. free not only on the day following some bloody revolution, but always, everywhere, free to select, but not to force his choice on others.

According to de Puydt, governments in a Panarchist framework would be motivated to optimize their policies and service-delivery to attract and retain citizens voluntarily. Thus, by empowering individuals to opt for the governance system that best aligns with their values, the Panarchist model incentivizes innovation and the pursuit of cost-effective solutions, as well as creates an environment of accountability and responsiveness, putting a brake on the ability of any government to oppress its citizens or demand excessive tax and tribute.

But in addition to incentivizing good governance and promoting responsiveness, de Puydt saw Panarchy as a transformative solution to end political conflicts and usher in an era of progress and harmony. He saw the power to change one’s political affiliation peacefully without having to physically move as an inherent right, and a profound and revolutionary change that would eliminate the need for struggles over the levers of power, rendering revolutions and conflicts unnecessary.

De Puydt continues:

What is most admirable about this innovation is that it does away, forever, with revolutions, mutinies, and street fighting, down to the last tensions in the political tissue. Are you dissatisfied with your government? Change over to another! These four words, always associated with horror and bloodshed, words which all courts, high and low, military and special, without exception, unanimously find guilty of inciting to rebellion, these four words become innocent. […]

In each community a new office is opened, a "Bureau of Political Membership". This office would send every responsible citizen a declaration form to fill in, just as for the income tax or dog registration: Question: What form of government would you desire? Quite freely you would answer, monarchy, or democracy, or any other... and once registered, unless you withdrew your declaration, respecting the legal forms and delays, you would thereby become either a royal subject or citizen of the republic. Thereafter you are in no way involved with anyone else's government—no more than a Prussian subject is with Belgian authorities.

You take your leave, and the revolution is accomplished without spilling any more than a drop of ink. As it affects you alone, I cannot disagree with it. Your change affects no one else - that is its merit; it does not involve a victorious majority or a defeated minority; but nothing will prevent 4.6 million Belgians from following your example if they wish. […]

Panarchy's transformative vision of decentralized governance provides a compelling solution to conflicts by ensuring that political opponents no longer pose a threat to individual autonomy and self-determination.

The principle of voluntary association and individual sovereignty allows every person to freely choose a government that aligns with their values and preferences, without imposing it on others. This eliminates the need for one group to dominate or control the other, as each community can exercise its own self-governance independently.

When applied to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, Panarchy offers a pathway to resolve the ongoing tensions and strife. With the non-territorial governance model, both Jewish and Palestinian individuals can reside in the same area without compromising their respective customs, traditions, culture, religions, and laws. Each community would have the freedom to maintain its distinct identity and way of life while coexisting peacefully side by side. The fear of one community imposing its will on the other dissipates, and the adversarial dynamic gives way to a harmonious coexistence.

While Panarchy did not gain significant prominence or influence in mainstream political discourse following De Puydt’s proposal, its principles and ideas have continued to resonate with proponents of decentralization, and alternative forms of governance, including Anarchists, Communists, Nationalists, and Libertarians, virtually spanning the entire political spectrum. [10]

Voltairine de Cleyre, for instance, was an influential American anarchist, feminist, and social activist who lived from 1866 to 1912. Although she did not use the term “Panarchy” explicitly, her ideas and principles closely aligned with the concept.

De Cleyre’s association with Panarchy can be traced to her advocacy for a society based on voluntary cooperation and free association. She summed up the philosophy concisely in one sentence:

“Each choose that method which expresses your selfhood best, and condemn no other man because he expresses his self otherwise.” [11]

Analysis of the Palestinian/Israeli Conflict

The concept of territorialism, the idea that a single government system should have exclusive possession or control of a territory, is a relatively recent development in human history. Its origins can be traced back to the emergence of the Westphalian Paradigm in just the 17th century. [12]

At its core, the Westphalian Paradigm established the concept of state sovereignty, the principle that each state is a supreme authority within its territorial boundaries. The paradigm has laid the foundation for the modern international system, shaping the conduct of state-to-state relations, the establishment of national borders, and the framework of international law. [13]

While the concepts of state sovereignty and territorialism have arguably been integral to promoting stability and independence for individual nations, it has also been subject to criticism and evolving interpretations in an increasingly interconnected and interdependent global landscape. [14]

The Palestinian/Israeli conflict is perhaps the clearest example of where the Westphalian Paradigm fails, necessitating the exploration of alternative paradigms.

The roots of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict can be traced back to the late 19th century, with the rise of Zionist aspirations for a Jewish homeland and the subsequent waves of Jewish immigrants to Palestine. [15]

The competing claims to the same territory, intertwined with issues of identity, self-determination, and national narratives, have fueled ongoing tensions and violence between Israelis and Palestinians ever since.

Benjamin Netanyahu, current Prime Minister of Israel who has been serving since December 2022, having previously held the office from 1996 to 1999 and again from 2009 to 2021, has expressed a steadfast position that any resolution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict should end with Israeli control over certain territories.

In a recent interview [16] Netanyahu stated:

Well, I think the reason you have the persistence of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, which goes back about a century, is the persistent Palestinian refusal to recognize a Jewish State; a Nation-State for the Jewish people, in any boundary.

Netanyahu’s assertion underscores a deeply rooted historical perspective from the Israeli side, which emphasizes the need for recognition and acceptance of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish nation-state. The demand for such recognition is seen as crucial to ensuring Israel’s security and legitimacy in the eyes of the international community.

Israel’s “right to exist” should be interpreted in terms of the Westphalian Paradigm, meaning that the Jewish people have the right to a geographical territory over which their government has exclusive control and monopoly.

On the other hand, the Palestinian side has also maintained its own historical narrative and claims to the same land, aspiring to establish a state with full sovereignty and self-determination for the Palestinian people. The Palestinian leadership has often insisted on the right to control certain territories, including those currently under Israeli control, as a part of their vision for a Palestinian state. [17]

Mohammed El-Kurd, a prominent Palestinian activist, has stated in a recent interview [18], explaining the Palestinian side:

It’s easy to say that this is about Muslims and Jews fighting over the land and so on and so forth. But it’s not, it’s about the land itself, and it’s about people being forced out of their homes.

The plight of Palestinians who have been forcibly displaced from their homes by Israelis has been a profound source of grievance and anguish. [19]

The loss of homes and properties, often spanning generations, has left a lasting impact on the affected communities, engendering feelings of profound injustice, marginalization, and dispossession. The scars of these traumatic events persist through generations, perpetuating a sense of collective loss and a yearning for a redress of the situation.

The Palestinian and Israeli communities both harbor a profound desire to reside in the city of Jerusalem in particular, without being subjected to the governance of the other. Both the Israeli state and the Palestinian state claim the city of Jerusalem as their capital. [20]

However, the conventional Westphalian Paradigm of territorialism presents a formidable obstacle to these aspirations, as it necessitates exclusive control over the territory by one or the other of the parties. In recent developments, it becomes increasingly evident that both the Israeli and Palestinian sides recognize the challenges and limitations of a traditional two-state solution. [21]

The complexities surrounding the allocation of territorial boundaries, access to resources, and shared governance have rendered the pursuit of such a solution arduous and contentious.

As Mohammed El-Kurd says in the same recent interview:

I don’t think there exists a geography in which a two-state solution is possible.

Another proposal is simply a one-state solution, in which the government of Israel rules the territory, and Palestinians are simply granted full citizenship, with full rights equal to those of Israeli citizens. However, these approaches both fail because they both fail to address the underlying issue: the competing claims for self-determination within the same geographical area.

In response, acknowledging the impracticality of exclusive territorial control, both sides appear to be seeking innovative pathways that could potentially lead to a more equitable and harmonious existence, reminiscent of the principles espoused by Panarchy.

El-Kurd states:

The world I envision, not just Palestine, the world I envision is a world that goes beyond states. That goes beyond this framing of power, this hierarchy in which some people rule over other people. This whole idea of nation-states, be it Israel or any other nation-state, it’s futile, it’s not good, it’s exclusive. I think that we can achieve a better world than that.

And at the same time, Netanyahu has proposed something he calls “Imperfect Sovereignty,” saying:

My view of how you solve this problem, is a simple principle: The Palestinians should have all the powers to govern themselves, and none of the powers to threaten Israel. Which basically means that the responsibility for overall security remains with Israel.

Netanyahu’s proposal of “Imperfect Sovereignty” for Palestine suggests that Palestinians would be granted the authority to govern themselves and implement their own laws and governance structures, allowing for a degree of autonomy and self-determination within the borders of Israel. A non-territorial solution. However, key elements of security and defense would remain under the control and responsibility of the Israeli government exclusively.

This proposal appears to be an attempt to strike a balance between ensuring Palestinian self-governance and safeguarding Israel’s security interests. By granting the Palestinians substantial powers over internal affairs, Netanyahu aims to address their desire for self-rule while maintaining Israel’s desire for full nation-state status within the Westphalian Paradigm. Meanwhile, retaining overall responsibility for security could be seen as an effort to address Israel’s legitimate concerns about potential threats and ensuring stability within the territory.

Netanyahu’s idea of “Imperfect Sovereignty” represents a departure from the traditional two-state solution with delineated borders, and aligns with certain aspects of Panarchist philosophy, wherein diverse governance systems coexist within the same territory, and demonstrates a willingness to explore innovative approaches to conflict resolution. Under this proposal, Israelis and Palestinians would maintain distinct governance systems and laws, reflecting their distinct identities and interests, within the same territory.

However, this concept of “Imperfect Sovereignty” is likely to generate varied reactions from both Israelis and Palestinians. For Palestinians, the idea of having the security services of another authority imposed upon them might raise concerns about the extent of their self-determination and national identity. The lack of direct control over security forces might also be perceived as a limitation on their ability to protect their interests, as opposed to Israeli interests.

Panarchy as a Practical Compromise

Under the “Imperfect Sovereignty” proposal, while Palestinians may have the ability to govern themselves on internal matters, their security services would remain under Israeli control. This approach could raise concerns about the extent of Palestinian self-determination, as well as the potential for unequal treatment and limited autonomy in security-related matters.

In the current Israeli state, there are already concerns raised by activists and critics, such as Mohammed El-Kurd, about an asymmetry in the courts and policing system that impact Palestinian self-determination and autonomy. [22]

Examples of this asymmetry can be observed in cases where Palestinians and Israelis are subject to different treatment by the Israeli security forces and government based on their respective identities.

Given the historical grievances and claims of asymmetry in treatment, it is likely that Palestinians might hesitate to fully entrust their security solely to the Israeli government, even if granted their own courts and limited internal self-governance. The legacy of past security incidents and the lack of accountability for abuses have contributed to a deep sense of mistrust and apprehension within the Palestinian community.

In contrast, crucial to the concept of Panarchy is the notion that no government can impose its laws (or its services) onto another community or government. This principle ensures that each community maintains full autonomy and self-determination, including the ability to obtain security services according to its own preferences and values. [23]

This means that Palestinians could have their own security services, and Israelis could have their own as well, without either government imposing its services on the other. In this decentralized approach, each community’s security needs and preferences can be catered to, fostering a sense of ownership and control over their safety.

Each government would have its own police, military, and judicial systems, serving its respective citizens. The two governments would operate side by side in the same physical space, but without interfering in each other’s affairs. There would be no territorial limitations on where each police force can operate, but their focus would be on ensuring the safety and wellbeing of their respective communities.

Each police force would have authority only over its own citizens. For example, if an Israeli police officer encounters a Palestinian citizen suspected of a crime, they would not have the jurisdiction to make an arrest. Instead, they would have to report the incident to the Palestinian police, who would then handle the matter according to their legal system.

In emergency situations, where swift action is required, police officers might respond to incidents regardless of the citizen’s nationality. This would be to ensure public safety and protect lives, regardless of the individual’s governance affiliation. After the immediate crisis is addressed, the case would be handed over to the appropriate jurisdiction for further investigation and resolution.

Similarly, when it comes to the military, each government’s military would be responsible for national defense and security matters related to its respective citizens. Cooperation and coordination between the two military forces might be necessary for coordinating security efforts and addressing potential threats that affect both communities.

Given that jurisdictions are not based on geographical areas but on individual affiliations with a particular government, a unified approach would be necessary in some instances, such as traffic laws. Governments would need to come to an agreement on standardized traffic regulations that would apply to all roads within the region, though the penalties for traffic violations would be determined by the government under which the offender falls.

In the realm of judiciary, cases involving citizens from different governance systems would be adjudicated according to the guiding principle of “Actor sequitur forum rei” — He who acts (the plaintiff) must follow the forum (or court) of the thing involved (the defendant), unless it is a serious crime rising to the level of murder, in which case the defendant may be tried in the plaintiff’s court.

Furthermore, in a panarchist framework, the principle of voluntary association would empower citizens of both the Palestinian and Israeli governments to freely change their governance affiliation based on their preferences and values. For instance, some Palestinians might choose to live under the Israeli government, deeming its services a better match for their preferences, or vice versa. Or, there may be a third option available that is even better. Or a fourth and fifth option.

This flexibility in choosing governance systems is particularly significant given recent challenges both the Israeli and Palestinian states have faced in addressing citizen dissatisfaction with policies and actions. [24]

Not only does Panarchy address the long-standing demands of both Israelis and Palestinians for self-determination, but it also offers a potential remedy to the growing frustration among Israelis and Palestinians who find themselves discontented with their current governments but feel powerless to affect meaningful change.

The Panarchist framework fosters an atmosphere of accountability and innovation in governments, resolving a long standing problem of territorialism stemming from the lack of mechanisms to effect meaningful change and voice grievances; a problem which plagues not only the Israeli and Palestinian states, but every state within the Westphalian Paradigm.

By embracing Panarchy, both Israelis and Palestinians would have the opportunity to achieve their aspirations for self-determination and good governance while existing in the geographical area they desire. This transformative framework could potentially pave a way for a new era of cooperation, understanding, and peaceful coexistence, breaking free from the shackles of the past and laying the foundation for a more just and inclusive future for all.

Implementing Panarchy

In “Panarchie,” Paul Emile de Puydt writes:

I agree that it is necessary, up to the present, to have the monarchists' consent. For the sake of my argument, I suppose this matter of principle to be settled. Otherwise I am well aware of the difficulty of changing the state of affairs to the way it should be and must become.

To initiate the practical implementation of Panarchy, a nuanced approach is warranted, requiring willing engagement from both the Israeli and Palestinian states, within the prevailing territorial setup.

A gradual approach to implementation may be prudent, starting with small-scale experiments in specific regions to test feasibility and address challenges, allowing both Israeli and Palestinian governments to operate side by side without imposing their laws on the other.

A pilot project or a demonstration area where Panarchist principles can be tested and showcased can serve as a practical example of how diverse governance systems can coexist within a shared territory, and can foster trust by providing tangible evidence of the viability of Panarchy.

The West Bank or even Jerusalem itself offers an intriguing opportunity to explore the practicality and efficacy in fostering harmonious coexistence between citizens of non-territorial versions of the Israeli and Palestinian governments. This experimental enclave would be structured to ensure that neither exercises exclusive control over the area, and would allow citizens of both governments freedom of movement, adhering to their respective laws and governance systems.

To nurture cooperation and trust between security forces representing both governments, carefully orchestrated joint patrols and other confidence-building measures could be instituted. These collaborative efforts would exemplify the possibility of mutual security arrangements and demonstrate how Panarchy can facilitate the peaceful cohabitation of diverse governance structures within the same geographical area.

As Paul Emile de Puydt wrote:

Ultimately, everyone would live in his own individual political community, quite as if there were not another, nay, ten other, political communities nearby…

If a disagreement came about between subjects of different governments, or between one government and a subject of another, it would simply be a matter of observing the principles hitherto observed between neighbouring peaceful States; and if a gap were found, it could be filled without difficulties by human rights and all other possible rights. Anything else would be the business of ordinary courts of justice.

Agreements between the two (or more) governments could outline how the security of each community will be ensured and how cooperation will occur to maintain stability and address common security threats. These agreements would need to reflect mutual respect, recognition, and trust-building between both Israelis and Palestinians. Additionally, safeguards and mediation processes can be established to address potential disputes and ensure the overall stability and functionality of the shared territory.

Panarchy acknowledges the need for coordination and cooperation on issues of common concern, such as security, infrastructure, and environmental management. It emphasizes the importance of dialogue, trust-building, and shared responsibilities among the diverse governance systems to foster a peaceful and harmonious coexistence.

While navigating the complexities of security arrangements might pose challenges, a Panarchist solution offers a unique opportunity for genuine self-determination, individual freedom of choice, and a mutual respect for the diverse identities and aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians, without barring either community from the territory, nor requiring one community to submit to the other’s dominance.

By recognizing the legitimacy of each community’s governance and security preferences, a realistic compromise can be crafted that promotes stability, security, and the dignity of all citizens within the shared territory.

Upon the success of a pilot project or demonstration area, the idea can be expanded to include all of Israel and all of the Palestinian territories, effectively turning both governments into the first modern non-territorial governance systems. Furthermore, the idea can be expanded to include more than just the two governance systems, by granting the right to Freedom of Association to all citizens, allowing individuals to opt in and out of their respective governments freely, and allowing new governance service providers to form in the area.

In this way, the city of Jerusalem, and Israel, can truly become the shining beacon on the hill, an example for all the world of how a future of peace and coexistence can subvert and replace the Westphalian Paradigm of war and conflict between people’s and nations.


The decentralized arrangement proposed in this paper allows Jews and Palestinians to be neighbors within Jerusalem, governed by their preferred legal systems; Israeli law for the former and Palestinian law for the latter, promoting individual sovereignty and fostering a cooperative environment.

In this way, Panarchy presents an innovative paradigm that aims to break free from the constraints of territorial governance and offers a pathway towards reconciliation and coexistence in the region.

As we grapple with the challenges of the 21st century, it is crucial to consider bold and innovative alternatives to conventional governance structures. Panarchy, with its emphasis on individual autonomy, freedom of association, and non-territorialism, presents a compelling framework that offers a potential solution to longstanding conflicts and the promotion of peaceful coexistence in shared territories.

In the face of complex geopolitical dilemmas, we must explore and seriously consider unconventional avenues for future governance. The principles of Panarchy, with their potential to reconcile conflicting interests and empower individuals and communities, deserve thoughtful consideration as we strive for a more equitable and harmonious world. In envisioning a future where diverse governance systems coexist side by side, we can move towards a global community that celebrates differences, fosters mutual understanding, and promotes peace and prosperity for all.




[1] "A History of Conflict: Introduction". A History of Conflict. BBC News. Archived from the original on 20 April 2011. Retrieved 17 December 2008.

[2] Eran, Oded. "Arab-Israel Peacemaking." The Continuum Political Encyclopedia of the Middle East. Ed. Avraham Sela. New York: Continuum, 2002, p. 121.

[3] There is debate of whether Panarchy is a political meta-theory or simply a methodology for social organization, having nothing to do with politics. Aveizer Tucker argues for the political meta-philosophy categorization because, “Panarchy does not advocate for any particular model of the state or social justice, but intends to encourage political variety innovation, experimentation, and choice.” Gian Piero de Bellis, on the other hand, argues that Panarchy is not a new political theory, nor an ideology, but a methodology for social organization that overcomes the “age of politics” characterized by the manipulation of the masses. In this paper I am okay with regarding Panarchy as a political meta-philosophy since I regard Panarchy as a philosophy about how various the political philosophies may/should be administered and manifested.

[4] Aviezer Tucker, The Panarchist Solution. Sovereignty without Territory, Emigration without Movement, 2010.

[5] Dershowitz, Alan, The Case for Peace: How the Arab–Israeli Conflict Can Be Resolved. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2005.

[6] Dr. William Cubbison (2018). "Two States for Two People? A Long Decline in Support"The Israel Democracy InstituteArchived from the original on 1 August 2022. Retrieved 1 August 2022.

[7] Aveizer Tucker, Gian Piero de Bellis. Panarchy: Political Theories of Non-Territorial States. Routledge, 2016

[8] See Albert O. Hirschman’s Exit, Voice, and Loyalty: Responses to Declines in Firms, Organizations, and States. 1970. Panarchy represents voice by freedom to exit, rather than freedom to vote and/or protest in the streets.

[9] Selections from: Paul-Émile de Puydt, Panarchy. 1860.

[10] Notable figures include Max Nettlau, who emphasized the importance of individual sovereignty in choosing governance systems, and John Zube, who advocated for the application of Panarchy as a means to resolve conflicts and foster harmonious coexistence. As well as Gian Piero de Bellis, Richard CB Johnsson, Michael Rozeff, Benjamin Tucker, Voltairine de Cleyre, Le Grand E. Day, Roderick T. Long, Aviezer Tucker, Gene Callahan, Yves Plasseraud, Dietmar Kneitschel, Roy Halliday, John Gall, and Bruno Frey, among others. Many works by these authors are available at These thinkers and proponents have explored different aspects of Panarchy, addressing practical challenges, proposing models for implementation, and engaging in debates about the compatibility of Panarchist principles with existing political and social structures.

[11] Voltairine de Cleyre. Anarchism. 1901.

[12] The Westphalian Paradigm, also known as the Westphalian system or Westphalian sovereignty, refers to a fundamental principle of modern international relations that emerged from the Peace of Westphalia treaties in 1648. The Peace of Westphalia marked the end of the Thirty Years’ War in Europe and involved the signing of two treaties, the Treaty of Munster and the Treaty of Osnabruck.

[13] Croxton, Derek (1999), "The Peace of Westphalia of 1648 and the Origins of Sovereignty", International History Review, 21 (3): 569–591. Kissinger, Henry (2014). World Order. Penguin.

[14] Bankas, Ernest K (2005). The State Immunity Controversy in International Law: Private Suits Against Sovereign States in Domestic Courts. Springer. Retrieved 13 February2023.

[15] "The Roots of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: 1882–1914". Archived from the original on 23 August 2017. Retrieved 22 August 2017.

[16] The Lex Fridman Podcast. #389. Benjamin Netanyahu: Israel, Palestine, Power, Corruption, Hate, and Peace. July 12, 2023.

[17] Tahhan, Zena. "The Naksa: How Israel occupied the whole of Palestine in 1967". Archived from the original on 28 December 2018. Retrieved 28 December 2018.

[18] The Lex Fridman Podcast. #391. Mohammed El-Kurd: Palestine. July 24, 2023.

[19] 1. Benny Morris, 1989, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947–1949, Cambridge University Press. 2. Benny Morris, 1991, 1948 and after; Israel and the Palestinians, Clarendon Press, Oxford. 3. Walid Khalidi, 1992, All That Remains: The Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated by Israel in 1948, Institute for Palestine Studies. 4. Nur Masalha, 1992, Expulsion of the Palestinians: The Concept of "Transfer" in Zionist Political Thought, Institute for Palestine Studies. 5. Benny Morris, 2004, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited, Cambridge University Press. 6. Yoav Gelber, 2006, Palestine 1948: War, Escape and the Palestinian Refugee Problem, Oxford University Press.

[20] Deborah Sontag. "Two Dreams of Jerusalem Converge in a Blur"The New York Times. 21 May 2000.

[21] "On the Eve of the Jewish New Year: How Optimistic Are Israelis and What Are Their Opinions on Iran and the Two-State Solution?" (in Hebrew). Archived from the original on 1 January 2023. Retrieved 19 January 2023.

[22] Yara Hawari. The Israeli Legal System: No place for justice. Aljazeera. 5 August 2021.

[23] (1849) Gustave de Molinari, On the Production of Security, 1849

[24] "Test of reasonableness". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 11 February 2023.


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