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Title: Reconciling nation and state : Glafkos Clerides and political transformation in Cyprus
Author: Fokaides, Christoforos
ISNI:       0000 0004 5354 5063
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2014
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Conventional wisdom holds that ethnic nationalism is incompatible with politics of compromise and reconciliation in conflict-ridden societies. This dissertation provides empirical evidence to the contrary by examining the revision of Greek unionist nationalism in Cyprus, under the transformative leadership of former Cypriot president Glafkos Clerides. The first part of the dissertation focuses on the development of various manifestations of nationalism in the Greek Cypriot community, highlighting particularly the limitations hindering the development of a civic form of nationalism in the island. The second part of the dissertation focuses on Clerides’ liberal brand of ethnic nationalism and argues that the former Cypriot leader provides an insightful example of how liberal nationalism can be combined with policies of compromise and peace building, informing relevant literature, which has provided considerable theoretical insight but lacks sufficient empirical evidence. Based on the work of Yack (2012) and others (Beissinger 2008; Kymlicka 1996), this dissertation argues that while several myths and certain significant limitations hindered the development of Cypriotism, Clerides’ liberal brand of ethnic nationalism was able to facilitate reconciliation and accommodate federalism in Cyprus. To support this argument, the dissertation relies on the hitherto unpublished archive of Democratic Rally and personal interviews with Clerides and several of his associates and critics. Specifically, it demonstrates how Clerides’ transformative leadership led to the revision of Greek unionist nationalism in the post-1974 era. Coming to terms with the intransigent ethnic ‘unionist’ legacy of the Right, historically associated with the goal of union with Greece, Clerides led the way to the revision of Greek nationalism and was the first to endorse federalism in the Greek Cypriot community. Yet Clerides’ political transformation did not aim at abandoning nationalist sentiments and symbols. His perception of a federal state as a multinational entity, allowed him not to undermine the two national communities of the island in its effort to promote a single Cypriot polity. In this context, the linkage of a federal solution with the accession of Cyprus to a federal Europe became a key component of his policy for the solution of the Cyprus problem. In view of current negotiations, the political legacy of Clerides can be informative for stakeholders, both inside and outside the island.
Supervisor: Loizides, Neophytos Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: JN Political institutions (Europe)