Two Marxian categories/imperatives are employed here in order to examine critically the fundamentals of the Cyprus issue over the last fifty years: the imperative of anti-imperialism and that of anti-nationalism. But by not confining itself within Marxian discourses by applying the concept of ‘garrison-prison state’ (Harold Lasswell) to the case of Cyprus, this article advances the thesis that at least since 1960 the Cyprus issue has been ruled by a regime alien to the interests of Cypriot society. This regime refers to the (‘paralegal’/illegal) set of Treaties and agreements, whether in force or not, violated or not, that have been produced from the late 1950s to the present day and which pertain to a ‘garrison-prison state’ of affairs – primacy of hard security interests as against that of human security, of NATO powers as against that of Cypriot political forces. Every negotiation that is taking place within this framework does not lead to a new Cypriot polity freed from nationalist bureaucratisation of the political game and imperial interference in it. Instead, the article proposes, a new approach is necessary by way of launching a new constituent phase on the island, dissolving both political entities, thus disentangling Cypriot society from the evil forces of imperialism and nationalism. This is a tall order for sections of Cypriot society, both Turkish and Greek, which still want to believe in the realism of utopia.
nationalism, imperialism, 'garrison-prison state', NATO
Auer, A. (ed.) (2009) ‘Itineraries of an Idea: A Constitutional Convention for Cyprus’, Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies, Vol. 11, No. 4, pp. 359-362.
Coufoudakis, V. (2006) Cyprus: A Contemporary Problem in Historical Perspective. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Cyprus Weekly (2005) Comment by Mathew Bryza, 5-11 August 2005, p. 3.
Fouskas, V.K. (1997) ‘The Left and the Crisis of the Third Hellenic Republic, 1989-1997’ in Sassoon, D. (ed.), Looking Left. London: I.B. Tauris, pp. 64-87.
Gowan, P. (2010) ‘Interview’ (with Mike Newman and Marco Bojcum) in his A Calculus of Power. London: Verso.
Hannay, D. (2005) Cyprus: The Search for a Solution. London: I.B. Tauris.
Kyriakides, K.A. (2004) ‘Legitimising the Illegitimate? The Origins and Objectives of the Annan Plan’ in Coufoudakis, V. and Kyriakides, K.A., The Case Against the Annan Plan. London: Lobby for Cyprus.
Lasswell, H.D. (1941) ‘The Garrison State’, American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 46, pp. 455-468.
Palley, C. (2005) An International Relations Debacle: The UN Secretary-General’s Mission of Good Offices in Cyprus, 1999-2004. Oxford: Hart Publishing.
Stanley, J. (ed.) (1997) Essays on the Garrison State. Harold Lasswell. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Press.
Copyright: © University of Nicosia, Cyprus
All rights reserved.
No restrictions on photo-copying.
Quotations from The Cyprus Review are welcome, but acknowledgement of the source must be given.