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From pan- +‎ -archy. Coined independently in many different contexts.


panarchy (countable and uncountable, plural panarchies)

  1. The individual's right to choose any form of government without being forced to move from their current locale.
    • 1860 article by “Panarchy” de Puydt
  2. (systems theory) Dynamic symmetry across multiple scales.
    • 2001, Lance H. Gunderson and C. S. Holling, Panarchy: Understanding Transformations in Human and Natural Systems[1], →ISBN, page 25:
      In panarchies, transformational change can be generated from below or from above.
  3. (diplomacy) An inclusive, multilateral system in which all parties may participate meaningfully.
    • 2006, W.A. Knight, “Plurilateral Multilateralism: Canada's Emerging International Policy?”, in Andrew F. Cooper, Dane Rowlands, editors, Canada Among Nations[2], →ISBN, page 100:
      The overlapping governance networks of panarchy have facilitated a context conducive to the above competing multilateralisms.
  4. (anarchism, rare) Rule by all; a system of governance in which each person has absolute power.
    • 2001, David Trend, Reading Digital Culture[3], →ISBN, page 148:
      If everyone all at once wanted to know who won the Stanley Cup in 1968 they could have the information simultaneously; cyberspace as the site of Unamuno's panarchy, where each one is king.
  5. (rare) Rule of all; absolute or total rule.
    • 1909, Samuel Eagle Forman, A Good Word for Democracy[4], page 91:
      These contentions give rise to systems of political philosophy which range all the way from anarchy to panarchy; from the doctrine that government should do nothing to the doctrine that it should do everything.
  6. (poetic, rare) An all-encompassing realm.
    • 1839, Philip James Bailey, Festus: A Poem[5], 1860 ed. edition, page 369:
      Some held that God, and all the heavenly powers, / As with the starry panarchy of space, / Were of one essence, like divine and high;

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  • Sewell and Salter, 1995, p.373