Contemporary Security Frameworks and the Peace Talks in Cyprus, The Hellenic Centre 16 September 2019, 19:00

Seminar on Cyprus ‘Contemporary Security Frameworks and the Peace Talks in Cyprus’.

The event will feature brief presentations by Professor Yuji Uesugi, Dr Emel Akcali and Dr Neophytos Loizides followed by discussion with the audience. The panel which is open to the public will offer an opportunity to discuss new ideas for the reunification of Cyprus and we look forward to your participation.

Yuji Uesugi is Professor at the prestigious Waseda University in Japan and he is currently visiting University of Kent as a Senior Research Fellow. Professor Uesugi is a leading academic practitioner and has advised his government in several occasions including international peacekeeping missions in Asia. He is very familiar with the history of Cyprus as he has written his PhD on the UN mission in Cyprus published in Japanese.

Dr Akcali is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Politics and International Relations at Swansea University and has written several books and articles on Cyprus and Dr Neophytos Loizides at the University of Kent, is currently conducting a parallel public opinion survey of Greek and Turkish Cypriots in the diaspora and Cyprus on the peace talks.

Speakers Professor Yuji Uesugi, Dr Emel Akcali, and Dr Neophytos Loizides

Read more about speakers here

Organised by Cypriot Estia

Diasporas and Peace Mediations: Cypriots Abroad and Reunification Attitudes, St Antony’s College – North Site  6 March 2019, 17:00

This presentation will examine the role of diaspora groups in peace mediations in Cyprus. It will first present the history of the island’s diaspora and how it relates to the Cyprus conflict. The presentation will then explore diaspora attitudes towards the current reunification efforts focusing specifically on three core areas: demands for participation in a future referendum, the right of return and property compensations; and finally, the political/electoral rights of diaspora citizens in a reunited Cyprus. The presentation will investigate the demands of various diaspora groups in these issues and identify the implications of diaspora activism, both positive and negative, for a Cypriot settlement as well as highlight best practices internationally to accommodate such demands. While not always unproblematic, the presentation will conclude that the inclusion of diasporas and their views in a future peace settlement is essential due to their increasing interconnectedness, the evolution of international human rights law, and more importantly, the diaspora’s own potential for a constructive role in the Cyprus reunification efforts.

Cyprus and Challenges in Constitutional Transitions
Nicosia, Cyprus 08-10 April 2019

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Seesox Blog Report of this event by Foteini Kalantzi

The three-day conference focused on international cross-learning in the area of constitutional transitions as well as new innovative tools in their study. It was funded by the British Academy, the US Institute of Peace and the PRIO Cyprus Centre. Day 1, focused on the negotiation stage of constitutional transitions introducing to Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot participants an interactive seminar on mediations. The workshop will be led by Isik Kuscu, Laura Sudulich, Charis Psaltis, Edward Morgan-Jones, Afxentios Hadjiminas, and Neophytos Loizides. In the first part of the seminar, the team revised and re-introduced simulation exercises from the Harvard Program on Negotiation for their use in constitutional transitions and post-conflict societies, Cyprus in particular. The second part, focused on the conference’s main contribution to this area with the presentation of the Settlement Scenario Toolkit (by Dr Charis Psaltis, Dr Afxentios Chatziminas, Dr Laura Sudulich and Dr Edward Morgan-Jones and Professor Neophytos Loizides). The toolkit allows individuals to visit our page and design their own settlement package on a complex multi-issue, multi-party dispute. The Settlement Scenario Toolkit (in our case using data from our border Brexit poll in Northern Ireland) calculates the level of public support for each package selected by an individual visiting the page (not just by us). It does so with the creation of a new algorithm by RISE in Nicosia that allows for backward calculations of public opinion data from a conjoint experiment.

Here is a demonstration of how the toolkit automatically reworks the results of the Northern Ireland border survey to produce concise visual maps of cross-community preferences based on packages selected by users.

Drawing on the fact that conjoints have become the major innovation in the social sciences, we proposed to our audience a new Cyprus survey where respondents in face-to-face public opinion interviews will have to choose between alternative sub-package of the Guterres plan. The survey which is funded by the BA and the USIP will cover the two Cypriot communities as well as their global diasporas (with  Dr Isik Kuscu and Dr Huseyin Cakal contributing to this project, the former as the PI of BA Newton advanced fellowship at Kent). The Cypriot diaspora surveys are now available online for pilot testing and will cover all countries around the world. Besides the conjoint experiments where respondents will have to choose between alternative packages, we also aim to collect useful data for Cypriots abroad and their relationship to the island. During the four day visit in Cyprus, Kent researchers had detailed discussions with the UN mediation team on the design of the survey as well as the general public and policymakers from both communities.

The second day of the conference investigated the various aspects of constitutional transitions. The keynote address by Dr Edward Morgan-Jones examined semi-presidentialism currently the most popular political system in transitions and evaluated historical evidence as well as arguments in favour and against. The second panel resulted from previous events and work of the Cyprus Academic Dialogue (CAD) including a presentation of a joint proposal by CAD’s co-presidents Professors Yucel Vural and Nicos Peristianis for a semi-presidential system CAD’s earlier conference in February led to a convergence among several academics on this issue). The second panel for the data focused on quantitative public opinion work. Dr Laura Sudulich presented the Kent/USIP conjoint experiment on the Brexit talks in Northern Ireland (a summary for the public is available here). Dr Alexandros Lordos presented SEED’s new work in Ukraine with regards to support for the Minsk agreement and detailed framework of the factors influencing both directions in public opinion.  Dr Charis Psaltis and Dr Huseyin Cakal presented papers based on recent surveys in Cyprus (with Neophytos Loizides and Djordje Stefanovic). A key finding is that contrary to conventional wisdom, there is rise for support for the settlement. This is explained by two factors/processes: increased bicommunal contact which is positive and wins hearts and minds as well as IDPs and their descendants (or individuals with properties in the north) who are currently more than half of the electorate in the Greek Cypriot community (and have come to perceive current arrangements and official rhetoric as highly unjust). A joint paper by the two presenters as well Professor Neophytos Loizides and Dr Isik Kuscu detailing these points is available while latest World Bank report confirms rise in support for the settlement as well.  The final presentation focused on the recent collection of essays in constitutional transitions (with major input of Canadian thinkers as well as funding by the Forum of Federations in Ottawa).

The third day of the conference focused on natural gas and oil in federations. Some take home lessons are the following. George Anderson our keynote speaker provided a wealth of knowledge as to handle this issue first by providing an extremely useful insight as to decoupling the three main issues: ownership, management and revenue sharing. Anderson also suggested reaching compromise citing his own Canadian experience where a supreme court ruling clearly favored the federal government but nonetheless the latter still took serious steps in accommodating the provinces. Companies have been reluctant to invest otherwise even in the less toxic Canadian context. Using this analogy, companies might either avoid direct engagement in the Eastern Mediterranean or if they still proceed with geopolitically risky investments  they will calculate the costs of political uncertainty resulting in narrower returns for governments and particularly Cyprus. Anderson finally suggested a number of mechanisms to address lack of disagreements in a reunited Cyprus for instance the use of auctions for licenses to maximise gains and induce an element of automaticity to decision-making processes at the federal level (those could be written to the constitution reducing uncertainty and vetoes). Finally, PRIO Cyprus Centre director Harry Tzimitras cautioned on the role of oil companies in the future of Cyprus reunification as those might

Cyprus Diaspora Workshop (funded by the British Academy), Sunday April 7th, 2019, 16:00-20:00 Ledra Palace ‘UN Container’

Survey Polls in Cyprus and the Diaspora Covering Cypriots in the Two Communities and Overseas

Dr.Neophythos Loizides, Dr.Işık Kuşçu Bonnenfant, Dr. Huseyin Cakal (University of Keele) and Dr. Charis Psaltis (University of Cyprus) “Survey Polls in Cyprus and the Diaspora Covering Cypriots in the Two Communities and Overseas.” British-Cyprus Interactions post-Brexit,  University of Westminister, July 12th, 2018.

Population Movements in and from the Eastern Mediterranean Workshop

METU-Kent Workshop on Population Movements in and from the Eastern Mediterranean (November 6, 2017)

The Political Economies of the Greek-Turkish-Cyprus Triangle

International Consequences of Migration: Socio-economic, Family and Cultural Patterns of Stability and Change in Turkey and Europe



Democratization and Constitutional Design in Divided Societies

June 25, 2017

The Cyprus Peace Talks – Prospects & Challenges in a Post Referandum Period

April 14, 2017

Designing Peace Settlements in Divided Societies

April 14, 2017

Victims of Forced Displacement and Peace Settlements

April 13,2017

Referendums in Peace Processes: Psychological, Political and Legal Aspects

October 26-27, 2017