Cyprus conflict and social capital theory

This book chapter brings a new perspective to the analysis of the Cyprus conflict. Borrowing from Social Capital theory, an attempt is made to revisit this long lasting conflict and to re-interpret the causes which have led to so many stop-go cycles of inter-communal negotiations. A new analysis based on application of “bad” social capital theory shows that previously existing social capital between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities was systematically destroyed (old trust, links and networks) and emerging new social capital disrupted (social capital built through peace building efforts) by key power brokers of both communities as well as by third parties benefitting from disunion between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. The chapter closes with an overview of measures which could be undertaken to re-build social capital needed to make emerging cooperation be based on acquisition and maintenance of sustainable social capital.

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