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Gendering the European Parliament

Ethno-Federal Design and Competitive Security Postures in Cyprus

Conflict Resolution
Ethnic Conflict
Pavlos Koktsidis
University of Cyprus
Pavlos Koktsidis
University of Cyprus

The proposed paper integrates existing and prospective findings of an ongoing research study on the institutional and security aspects of the proposed bi-zonal and bi-communal ethno-federal arrangement in Cyprus. Despite consensus on the acceptance of a federal solution for Cyprus, its acceptance by the Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaderships is broadly subject to contrasting prerequisites, divergent viewpoints of territorial and political arrangements reflecting the deepest fears and suspicion of parties. The two ethnic leaderships in Cyprus have sought to accumulate a distinct centrifugal vs centripetal ‘sovereignty capital’ in an effort to safeguard their own and overpower each other’s perceived security intentions in order to maximize leverage and control, and create a viable leeway in the event of federal dysfunction. The study explores how security concerns link up to ethno-federal arrangements in a post-conflict society and how they become behavioural drivers to the acceptace or rejection of institutional provisions for ethno-federal state building in Cyprus. This work offers a theoretical analysis of policy-making perceptions and key institutional provisions regarding the proposed federalization of Cyprus and demonstrates how institutional demands reflect the competitive security dynamics in the negotiating process creating a situation in which one party's efforts to maximize its security, increases the insecurity of the other. The study explains how the negotiated process has turned into a competitive cost-benefit situation marked by distinct and sometimes exclusive aims and priorities. The paper explores whether a lack of trust and uncertainty over each parties’ offensive and defensive intentions have culminated in the adoption of a loss-centred approach, one in which the costs of perceived losses outweigh the importance of prospective gains.
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