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Political Clientelism and Conflict Resolution: The Case of Cyprus

Conflict Resolution
Ethnic Conflict
Political Parties
Corruption
Political Cultures
Sertac Sonan
Cyprus International University
Hubert Faustmann
University of Nicosia
Sertac Sonan
Cyprus International University
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Abstract

The Mediterranean island of Cyprus has been troubled by conflict between the two main communities following the breakdown of the constitutional order in 1963, and the forceful geographical/ethnic division as the outcome of Turkish invasion in 1974. Within both communities different forms of political clientelism emerged during this period of separation: a consensual one including all major parties in the Greek Cypriot dominated south, and an exclusive one, based on a winner-take-all logic in the Turkish Cypriot north in the setting of a de facto state financed by Turkey. Using an historical institutionalist approach, the paper will investigate (a) the parallel evolution of these distinct forms of clientelism across the dividing line, and (b) within the context of the ongoing reunification talks, the possible impact of political patronage on the post-unification Cyprus. The research is policy relevant because given the fact that the most important sticking point of the ongoing conflict resolution efforts is the cost of settlement, unless tackled with carefully in the negotiation process, the cost of patronage will be a serious threat to the viability of the future state.