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Mobile diasporas, postcolonial identities: the Green Line in Cyprus

Innes, A. J. ORCID: 0000-0002-0100-8990 (2017). Mobile diasporas, postcolonial identities: the Green Line in Cyprus. Postcolonial Studies, 20(3), pp. 353-369. doi: 10.1080/13688790.2017.1378081


This paper explores the scope for understanding postcolonial and hybrid identities through the theory of ontological security in International Relations. It examines the circulation of identity for a dispersed postcolonial population, namely Cypriots. This circulation happens amongst a deterritorialised public, through media and movement of people. It carries meaning that is formative of the identity of the diaspora and of the identity of the home state, implicating both in a complex and relational ontological security comprising identity, memory, state and society. The Green Line dividing North from South in Cyprus represents the bifurcation of the island, rupturing the possibility of a territorially unified Cypriot identity. The line also represents a rupturing of contiguous ethnic identities, marking the creation of refugee populations and Cypriot diasporas. The Green Line is both a physical location and circulating symbol of ontological insecurity. On one hand, the Green Line marks the creation of Cypriot refugees and diasporas. On the other, it marks a gateway to Europe for asylum seekers attempting to enter the Southern part of the island. I theorise the Green Line as an emblem of ontological insecurity whose meaning is (re)constituted in the lived experience of Cypriot diaspora and migrants seeking security, revealing a hybrid and fluid identity.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Postcolonial Studies on 19 Sep 2017, available online:
Publisher Keywords: Identity, ontological security, Cyprus, diaspora
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DE The Mediterranean Region. The Greco-Roman World
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > International Politics
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