The Contours of the Palestinian State

The Contours of a Future State
A four-part compendium of Palestinian Thinking


The main purpose of this track of UNSCO’s research agenda is to give expression to Palestinian voices about the wider issues of future statehood beyond the final status elements.  As a first step in the process, UNSCO commissioned the IoL to prepare a series of “compendia” of Palestinian thinking and opinions on four elements of statehood. In later stage, the UNSCO will work out a dissemination plan for the findings of the researchers.
Each compendium consist of a structured synthesis or inventory of leading Palestinian literature, opinions and perceptions on a core element of statehood, a description of the debates and positions taken, an outline of the main questions posed and a detailed bibliography of existing sources. 
The four-part compendia series is intended to serve three distinct but related objectives:
  • To act as a basic tool through which one could encourage, inform and contribute to inter-Palestinian dialogue on core long-term elements of statehood;
  • To act as a stand-alone bibliographical and analytical resource for Palestinian and international scholars;
  •  To act as a key resource for donor institutions interested in making long-term, sustainable investments in the region.

Starting date: 01/January/2007
Ending date: 31/May/2007
Task commissioned and funded by: UNSCO
Team: Naser Abdelkarim, Samir Awad, Yaser Amouri, Asem Khalil, Reem Al-Botmeh. Zeina Jallad.
Each of the four compendia would focus on a specific element of statehood as follows:
Compendium 1: The Palestinian Economy
 This compendium should gather together Palestinian views about long term options for a viable economy, including on:
  • Relations between rural and urban markets.
  • Striking a proper balance between agriculture, industry and the service sector.
  • The inter-linkages between public and private spheres.
  • Regulating economic activity including domestic and external trade.
  • Economic relations.
  • Integration, with Israel, with Arab states or both.
  • The minimum requirements for viability.
Compendium 2: A Palestinian Constitutional Framework
This volume should seek to express leading Palestinian thinking and public perceptions, about:
  • The manner in which a state would organize its executive, legislative and judicial responsibilities.
  •  The systems which create amend and enforce laws.
  • The basic rules which would govern pubic institutions and assets and the redistribution of public goods.
  • The degree to which normative orientation (secular/religious) should direct state formation, institutions building and the application of law
Compendium 3: The Palestinian Citizen
This compendium will focus on Palestinian views concerning the inter-linkages and relationships between the institutions of the state and the state’s citizens. The range of issues in this volume should include:
  • The rights of citizenship, individual rights legislation and its application and enforcement.
  •  Social and economic rights;
  • The concept of social responsibility including the provision of social welfare and social services.
  • Public order and the monopoly of force. 
Compendium 4: The Palestinian Neighbour State
Irrespective of the precise outcomes of final status negotiations, the Palestinian state will need to develop and maintain functioning relations with its immediate and distant neighbours. This section should outline Palestinian perspectives on relations between Palestine as a nation-state with other nation-states and address issues such as:
  • The determinants of sovereignty for Palestine.
  • Natural resource management including water and gas.
  •  National security and security cooperation.
  • Protection of the environment within a regional and global context.
  • Tourism and cultural identity.