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Protracted Stalemates and Conflict Intervention: Policy (Un)Learning and the Cyprus-EU Debacle

Kovras, I. & Loizides, N. (2012). Protracted Stalemates and Conflict Intervention: Policy (Un)Learning and the Cyprus-EU Debacle. Ethnopolitics, 11(4), pp. 406-423. doi: 10.1080/17449057.2012.697653


The article examines why a comprehensive settlement to resolve the Cyprus problem has yet to be reached despite the existence of a positive incentive structure and the proactive involvement of regional and international organizations, including the European Union and the United Nations. To address this question, evidence from critical turning points in foreign policy decision-making in Turkey, Greece and the two communities in Cyprus is drawn on. The role of hegemonic political discourses is emphasized, and it is argued that the latter have prevented an accurate evaluation of incentives that could have set the stage for a constructive settlement. However, despite the political debacle in the Cypriot negotiations, success stories have emerged, such as the reactivation of the Committee for Missing Persons (CMP), a defunct body for almost 25 years, to become the most successful bi-communal project following Cyprus's EU accession. Contradictory evidence in the Cypriot peace process is evaluated and policy lessons to be learned from the CMP 'success story' are identified.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Ethnopolitics on 3 Oct 2012, available online:
Publisher Keywords: framing; political learning; Cyprus problem; Greece; Turkey; European Union; Annan Plan; Committee on Missing Persons
Subjects: J Political Science
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > International Politics
SWORD Depositor:
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