This week's editor

Rosemary Belcher-2.jpg

Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy’s Editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Yes we can? Mustafa Akıncı and a new hope for Cyprus

Akıncı's election victory was greeted with euphoria by both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. After 40 years of separation, could a solution to the Cyprus dispute finally be within reach?

Recognising and denying Armenian losses in Cyprus

Cyprus was one of the first countries to recognise the Armenian genocide, but the relationship that the country has with its own Armenian population is more complicated than it seems.

Bicommunal action in Cyprus: a force more powerful

At the grassroots level, bicommunal activity in the island is emerging as the critical actor in the reunification process.

Turkish paternalism in Northern Cyprus

Turkey's relationship with Northern Cyprus is akin to a controlling father disciplining its errant son, and this has affected its attitude to a Cyprus settlement as well.

Reflections on bi-communal relations in Cyprus

A veteran of the bi-communal movement in Cyprus discusses the initiative's beginnings, its challenges, and its hopes for the future.

Despite initial hype, there's still a long way to go in the Cyprus dispute

As with most conflicts, the Cypriot dispute is a very complicated one. A plethora of political, cultural and economic variables should be factored in when contemplating a solution.

Ceremony and subjectivity in Cyprus, 40 years on

It is 5:30am on 20 July 2014 and war sirens have gone off in southern Nicosia - a shrill piercing sound on a frequency reminiscent of human screams - announcing, as it has for the last 40 years, the re-enactment of the invasion by Turkish warships, full of disembarking soldiers, five miles from Kyrenia.

On remembering and forgetting: reflections on the long summer of '74 in Cyprus

Though I was born two years after the ominous summer of '74, my life has been defined by Turkey’s military operation, division and the agony of that long summer. A country so traumatized and marked with heart-wrenching memories, could not but produce children as scarred as itself.

Cyprus 40 years on. Do you really want a solution? Abandon 'realism'

Every July I cannot stop thinking of that morning of July 20, 1974. A boy, born and raised on the Greek island of Lesbos, in very close proximity to Turkey, listening as his mother tells him that Turkish planes are flying over the village, and that we may be invaded.

The energy boom in Cyprus: pipeline to peace?

With energy supply in Europe a renewed concern, will the large reserves of natural gas in Cyprus become a peacemaker in the long-standing conflict, or become part of a larger game for regional stability? 

A third way for Cyprus?

Cyprus cannot be a nation-state under Greek Cypriot majority rule, or two nation-states in a loose co-federation under the surveillance of NATO forces. But could Cyprus be a new united Republic founded on the ideas of labour and a common Mediterranean civilization? If the EU said yes. 

A complicated (Cypriot) tango: civil society and donor relationships in conflict resolution

A solution to the Cyprus conflict remains elusive, particularly since national elites use it to maintain their positions of power. Only moving the peace-related segment of Cyprus’s civil society away from the periphery will make a locally-accepted peace process viable.

Cyprus: Divided by history, united by austerity

A political settlement to the Cyprus dispute is no longer just a romantic fantasy; it may be the only way out of the country's current economic crisis.

Europe’s guns, debt and corruption

This second of two essays on military spending and the EU crisis, explores the role of the European arms trade, corruption and the role of arms exporting countries in fuelling a debt crisis, and why these 'odious' debts need to be written off. See Part One here.

A short history of banks and democracy

The extraordinary bounce-back of the banks reveals the most disturbing, but least obvious, largely invisible, feature of the unfinished European crisis: the transformation of democratic taxation states into post-democratic banking states.

A cultural reading of the Cyprus crisis

Are the apocalyptic scenarios pervading the discourse of ‘surprise’ around the 'crisis' in Cyprus repositioning the sense of self of Cypriots vis-à-vis their institutions, the state, or the future ?

The Eurozone crisis: what way forward?

The simple truth unpalatable to Eurozone authorities is that small peripheral EU economies and even big economies like Spain and Italy, are victims, not designers of the liberalised financial architecture that was built way back in 1992, repeating earlier twentieth century failed experiments that led to financial crisis, immiseration and war.

The Cyprus 'bail-in' blunder: a template for Europe?

The justification for the ‘rescue’ plan for Cyprus appears reasonable: taxpayers should not have to pay for the costly mistakes of bankers and ‘tax havens’ should be eliminated. But the ‘bail-in’ plan does not achieve these objectives.

Europe poised between union and hegemony

French and German overriding of the European Commission over the Stability Pact can be seen, ten years later, to have been disastrous. A vision more powerful, more engaging, more profound than “common interest” is now required if Europe is to survive, and divided Cyprus is a test case.

The Cyprus-Russia connection: political culture and public attitudes

Cyprus' unique political culture, as well as its relationship with Russia, played an important yet underappreciated role in the island's recent economic crisis.

Peace in Cyprus: Is it more likely today than it was in 2004?

The 2004 Annan Plan to re-unite the island failed spectacularly; but within the current economic crisis there is room for reconciliation in Cyprus.

Cyprus crisis: swan-song of the Eurozone

Harsh measures imposed on Cypriot political and financial authorities to address bank failures reveal, once again, that the entire architecture of the EU is in tatters. The geopolitics surrounding the Greek Cypriot crisis is pulling the EU further apart and into the unknown.

The Cyprus Eurocrisis: the beginning of the end of the Eurozone?

EU accession in 2004 did little if anything to make runaway bankers accountable; on the contrary, the so-called institutional ‘independence’ of the Central Bank making the Governor accountable to the ECB rather than having any democratic accountability to the people who would be immediately affected, made the bankers more unaccountable.

Euro sunset on Cyprus

Euro sunset on Cyprus: while Vladimir Putin dives for the Gazprom treasure, diligent locals are facing a tax grab of their small savings (visual montage).

Modern Greek history podcast, parts 2 and 3

Parts 2 (50 mins) and 3 (50 mins) of the generalists' introduction to modern Greek history take us from 1920 to the present day. Part 1, 1820-1920, is here, and the two articles that have served as anchors for the conversation are here (Doxiadis on the historical roots of current economic structure) and here (Takis Pappas on the political history that led to crisis)

Dear Merkel, beware Greeks bearing geopolitics

It is time to stop the chorus of blackmail assailing Syriza, the radical Greek left party poised to win the Sunday election, from all sort of pundits, international officials and, above all, Merkel - along the lines that if their anti-bailout platform wins the June 17 contest then Greece would be pushed out of the Euro. For, the real issue now is not about economics but about the geopolitics of the eastern Mediterranean

Cyprus: local perception, European illusion

The chances of an internal resolution of the enduring Cyprus conflict are receding. This reinforces the temptation of many to embrace a “European solution” as the way forward. But the European Union's understanding of democracy is less principled than Greek Cypriots would like it to be, says Hubert Faustmann.
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