Books By Institute For Decentralized Governance

Citadel, Market and Altar by Spencer Heath

Citadel, Market and Altar is the foundational text for the theory of proprietary community administration. In it, the late great Spencer Heath makes one of the most definitive cases for landlord led polities, cities, and communities.

His ambitions extended far, and included a comprehensive philosophy of human knowledge and experience, Socionomy. He uses this new field of research to explain the benefits of proprietary communities.

While Spencer Heath deeply respects individual rights, communitarianism is his guiding star. His core argument is that only landlord-led communities can harmonize what he sees as the three foundations of social life: Citadel (government), Market (economics), and Altar (Religion/traditions).

To make his case, the author traces the origin of his ideas across time, discussing examples of voluntary communities from pre-Norman England and the Renaissance. Spencer Heath uses these cases to forecast how proprietary communities might look like in the future. If you are interested in the future of new communities and the social forces that underpin them, download this book and share it wide.

Get your copy of Citadel, Market and Altar Here:

Types of Special Jurisdictions include:

Special Economic Zones  

Special Jurisdictions with legal exemptions from select laws--typically, import restrictions and taxes--but sometimes with their own commercial codes.  Examples include Shenzhen, Shanghai, and Dubai.

Charter Cities

Mixed use urban developments administered by third party governments within a host country. Examples include Early American colonies, like Pennsylvania, and proposed contemporary ones.

Private Cities

Privately owned and operated mixed use urban developments.  Examples include city-sized HOAs like Highland Park, Colorado, and the Gurgaon in northern India.


Communities in which the residents manage their jointly-owned property.  Examples include Co-Op City in the Bronx area of New York, NY, and Marilenda, Spain.


Small states, often no larger than cities. Examples include Liechtenstein, a microstate with one of the highest GDP Per Capita in the world.