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Federalism and conflict management in multi ethnic societies : The case of Cyprus in comparative Perspective

Duba, Gulay Umaner (2010) Federalism and conflict management in multi ethnic societies : The case of Cyprus in comparative Perspective. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94318) (KAR id:94318)


This thesis examines the federal elements of the the latest UN model-the Annan Planusing theories of federalism and carefully selected comparative case studies to generate “benchmarks” for an evaluation. The purpose of that study is to explore the conditions under which federalism is likely to achieve peaceful outcomes in Cyprus.

The study poses three questions related to the accommodation of ethnic diversity in Cyprus. These questions arise from the need to make a contribution to the political discussion about the future of a multi-ethnic, unified Cyprus and from the theoretical discussions about the capacity of federal systems to promote conflict management in multi-ethnic societies. The first focuses on federalism as a way of dealing with conflict in multi-ethnic societies. The second asks whether federalism envisioned in the Annan Plan is an adequate framework to hold Cyprus together. The third question studies the conditions under which federalism is expected to play a positive role for sustainable conflict resolution in Cyprus. The literature on federalism has a tendency to make insufficiently precise claims regarding the conditions under which institutional arrangements are likely to achieve peaceful outcomes. These three questions are developed in three separate sections. The first puts forward various conflict management institutions and techniques in order to evaluate to what extent they are likely to contribute to the legitimacy of a multi-ethnic polity. In the second section, carefully selected case studies have been used to demonstrate how - and with what effect - federal and consociational institutions have been used under similar conditions. Finally, interviews with the main political actors in Cyprus have been conducted to assess whether the Annan Plan is likely to contribute to the accommodation of ethnic diversity. The argument is that creating and maintaining a multi-ethnic federal system depends on context, on the motivations of the parties involved, and in the details of the autonomy arrangements. The conditions under which federalism diminishes ethnic conflict depend on the interaction between federal institutions, regional inequality, and ethnic diversity in a society. The analysis shows that the federal model envisaged in the Plan is less likely to be suitable for Cyprus, not merely because of the lack of preconditions but also because the designed institutions in the Plan that do not address the social, economic, political and demographic characteristics of the society.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94318
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 25 April 2022 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2023 10:00 UTC
Last Modified: 21 Nov 2023 09:55 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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