New Perspectives on the Cyprus Problem
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In today’s world, the issue of Cyprus is notable for all the wrong reasons: because of the duration of the divisions in Cyprus itself between Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots (formalized since 1983 by a disputed international border across the island); because of the involvement of Greece and Turkey, for which the “hyphenated” Cypriot communities form proxy battalions; and because of the failure of the United Nations’ longstanding efforts to resolve the conflict. Much of the discussion in the book revolves around the difficulty of producing viable constitutional and civic arrangements in an ethnically-divided polity. It is clear that this issue dominates almost all discussions of the Cyprus Problem, from the drawing of internal borders, the conceptualization of identity of oneself and of the “other,” to the management of the natural resources with which the island is endowed. Containing chapters from both Turkish- and Greek-Cypriots, as well as outside scholars, the book covers four key themes, namely identity and perceptions; contemporary issues in the Greek- and Turkish-Cypriot communities; comparisons with divided polities elsewhere; and new approaches to resolving the Cyprus Problem. One of the key messages from this book is that people-to-people initiatives must supplement the plans (and posturing) of politicians in order to make progress towards an ultimate resolution of the Cyprus Problem. The book shows that human ingenuity is able to find a widely accepted and workable formula for a Cyprus that combines unity and diversity, acknowledges the worth of its different constituent communities, and addresses – or begins to move beyond – historical animosities and injustices.