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Alexis Rappas

Abstract

The colonial government of Cyprus was composed by an overwhelming majority of “indigenous” civil servants, headed by a handful of British administrators.
Challenging the widely accepted representation of the Cypriot colonial civil servant as a mere performer of the British policy in Cyprus, this paper proposes a
microanalysis of two cases taken from 1928: alternatively the recruitment of a higher, and the dismissal of a subaltern, Cypriot civil servant. Contrasting these two
cases, the paper suggests that the split identity of the Cypriot civil servant, both a “Cypriot” and a “colonial official”, constituted a political stake both for the British
authorities and the local press. It further suggests that the lower his position, the more the Cypriot colonial servant could actively participate in the elaboration of an
identity which would safeguard certain of his rights, sometimes forcing his employer, the colonial government, to respect them.

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