Dynamic Consociationalism: Integrative Lessons for a Unified Israel-Palestine
Leone, Joseph G.
- After twenty-five years, the American-sponsored peace process has failed to produce a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, resulting in a seemingly hopeless impasse. However, despite the increasing number of scholars, diplomats, and activists proclaiming the death of the two-state solution, little attention has been spent analyzing alternative resolutions. The most prominent of ... read morethese alternatives, the creation of a single, democratic state in all of Israel-Palestine, is at the center of a growing movement to move away from the failed two-state paradigm. However, little analysis has been conducted as to what form of democratic government could best provide stability and equality to a prospective Israeli-Palestinian state. In order to better understand the dynamics of governing across deep communal divides, Israelis and Palestinians should look towards the democratic experiences of other deeply divided societies, particularly those whose relevant divisions and demographics resemble the Israeli-Palestinian context. This thesis examines the confessional political system of Lebanon and the extent to which it has provided stability and equality to its diverse religious communities. This thesis proposes an alternative system of “dynamic consociationalism” as an effective form of governance in deeply divided societies, both Lebanon and Israel-Palestine. Through a system of proportional representation, executive power-sharing, communal autonomy, and minority vetoes - all on a self-determined basis - such a model enables the incorporation of all relevant segments of the population into government yet is able to adapt to reflect both changing demographic realities and the emergence of inclusive political forces that bridge the communal divide.read less