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Making peace on the island of love: An ethnographic exploration of peacebuilding in Cyprus.

Modenos, Lisa
June 4, 2015

Source: (2010) Dissertation. Doctor of Philosophy. University of Massachusetts Amherst.

This is a dissertation that examines peace. In particular this dissertation will
explore the paradox of peace on the island of Cyprus, a paradox that has continued to
challenge both international and local peace activists in their pursuits to build peace. For
how does one build peace when it seems that peace already exists? Yet, how can peace
truly exist within the context of a stalemated, decades-old protracted ethnic conflict on a
politically and ethnically divided island? The paradox of the Cyprus conflict being
deemed a peaceful conflict only begins to touch upon the problems and limitations
inherent in building peace on the island. This dissertation explores what those problems
are through the eyes of local peacebuilders, and argues for a more anthropologically
informed peace research in order to help surpass peacebuilding limitations in Cyprus and
in other post-conflict zones around the world.
This dissertation explores how peacebuilding theories and methodologies in
Cyprus have and have not shifted within the wake of the opening of the Green Line and the subsequent sociopolitical changes on the island. It explores the changes in methods
and theories of peacebuilding on the island by focusing on the activities and perspectives
of local Cypriots involved in peacebuilding. In particular this dissertation describes the
historical context in which bicommunal peacebuilding came about as a strategy; it
explores the principles and goals that defined the particular kind of peacebuilding that
emerged in Cyprus; it describes who was involved in the local world of peacebuilding;
and it explores the multiple changes to the island that have also affected and changed the
nature of peacebuilding – and it does so particularly through trying to understand how
local peacebuilders have experienced and conceptualized those changes. Through the
extended interviews and observations of the networks and activities of peacebuilding that
I conducted in Nicosia, I argue that we can learn a great deal about the complex ways that
peacebuilding is experienced by the intervened, and that those experiences can help
contribute to the transformation of the doing of peacebuilding in the future. (author’s abstract)


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