The Cypriot 'ethnic' conflict in the production of global power

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Political Science


Kristi Andersen


race relations, patriarchal, materialist feminism

Subject Categories

Political Science | Sociology


This study explores the Cypriot 'ethnic conflict' as a social relation in the production of global power. Materialist feminist theory, which claims that there is a link between the agents of knowledge and agents in society, was utilized to analyze the 'ethnic' conflict. Viewed through this theoretical lens, 'ethnic' conflicts are not merely about ethnicity but also the ways patriarchy, racial relations, and capitalist structures work together in dynamic and contradictory ways to produce global power. Hence, 'ethnic' conflicts are both effects and social formations of resistance against hegemonic social processes and relations. A multimethod approach which integrated theoretical argument, historical interpretation of empirical data, and descriptive data from interviews brought to light mediations between local and global sites. An analysis of the policy statements of leaders within Cyprus, the United States, Greece, Turkey, and the United Nations makes explicit the contestations surrounding the (re)production of global power. A reading of elementary and high school Cypriot history textbooks demonstrates the contestations of the state and its citizens in their attempts to carve out a space globally as a legitimate agent of the international system and also to resist the complicit assimilation of its citizens. Interviewing people from different 'ethnicities', genders, and class backgrounds brought to the fore contradictions among sociopolitical processes which are informed by participants' locations on the axes of power of gender, sexuality, race and class. Lower class men and women from both ethnic groups challenged the preoccupation of the leaders with 'resolving' the conflict. They argued that this formal history of 'ethnic' conflict is obscuring drastic global changes and their impacts on their lives and the lives of immigrants. Implications of this study include the recommendation that other protracted conflicts be explored to better understand the (re)production of patriarchal, racial and capitalist structures, social relations, and systems of meanings. Additionally, histories of knowledge production and their conflicts in relation to global history can be examined to help us understand the interconnections between patriarchy and capitalism.


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