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The United States, the European Union, Russia, and the United Nations — along with Israel and the Palestinian Authority — all officially support the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. This study focuses on a single analytical question: How can an independent Palestinian state, if created, be made successful? This book, a collaboration between two units of the RAND Corporation — RAND Health and the RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy — examines what it will take to put the new state on the road to stability and economic, political, and social prosperity over the first decade of its independence. The authors examine options for strengthening the governance of the new state and the structures and processes that will ensure its public safety and security. They describe approaches for promoting the state’s economic development, access to safe and adequate supplies of water, health and health care, and education, identifying ways that leverage Palestine’s many strengths and address the many challenges a new state will face. Finally, the authors estimate the investment required over the first ten years of statehood to help ensure security, build infrastructure, and facilitate the success of the new state. See also the companion volume: Doug Suisman, Steven N. Simon, Glenn E. Robinson, C. Ross Anthony, and Michael Schoenbaum, The Arc: A Formal Structure for a Palestinian State, Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND Corporation, MG-327-1-GG, 2007.

"If [Palestinian] statehood is realized, the RAND Palestinian State Study Team have given much thought as to how to make it work. Side-stepping the issue of how to get there, 'Building a Successful Palestinian State' assumes it will happen and sets out to answer an alternative question: 'How can an independent Palestinian state be made successful?' The result is a refreshingly upbeat 'how to' manual that identifies four fundamental challenges for success: security, for Palestinians, as well as Israelis and other neighbors; governance, predicated on regime legitimacy; economic development, leading to eventual self-reliance; and the broad well-being of the Palestinian people, measured according to several indices, among them food security, health and education."

- Middle East Journal, Summer 2007

"Palestinians have been yearning for a state of their own for generations. But if that goal is met, what then? A new collection of books and studies by the RAND Corporation attempts to answer just that question. 'Building a Successful Palestinian State' is packed with statistical data on specific policy implementations for a potential Palestinian state… RAND's study focuses not only on what is needed to build and sustain a Palestinian state, but also on the expenditures necessary to see it through… Although weighty in statistical analysis, the meticulous detail in the RAND studies would prove instrumental to any reader with a vested interest in Middle Eastern foreign policy. Besides focusing on the obvious economic and geostrategic problems, the tracts also explore issues of health care, education, and riparian rights. And while they fully acknowledge the scope of the challenges at hand, 'Building a Palestinian State' and 'The Arc' spotlight potential success rather than focusing on setbacks and conflict."


"The RAND Corporation has done itself proud with these publications on how to set up a Palestinian state. 'Building a Successful Palestinian State', organized into separate chapters on governance, internal security, demographics, economics, water, health, and education, is not, admittedly, an easy read. Bringing together masses of technical data and comprehensive in coverage, it will serve as an invaluable study for those who become directly involved in the state-building process but will serve mainly as a reference work for others."

- Foreign Affairs, Sept/Oct 2005

"What is especially elegant about the plan is that it focuses not on some eventual peace agreement on a state's boundaries, but on how life might be lived the day after peace—on 'the patterns of human life as shaped by its setting.'"

- Urban Land, July 2005

"Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above."

- CHOICE, January 2006

Research for this study was carried out from September 2002 through May 2004 by a multidisciplinary team of RAND researchers, working under the direction of the RAND Health Center for Domestic and International Health Security in conjunction with the Center for Middle East Public Policy (CMEPP), one of RAND’s international programs. RAND Health and CMEPP are units of the RAND Corporation. Primary funding for the project was provided by a generous gift from David and Carol Richards. This research in the public interest was also supported by RAND, using discretionary funds made possible by the generosity of RAND’s donors and the earnings on client-funded research.

This report is part of the RAND monograph series. RAND monographs present major research findings that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND monographs undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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