The present study introduces a revised adaptation of the “ethnic security dilemma” theory to explain the nature of antagonisms between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots in negotiations for resolving the Cyprus Question. The proposed theory accounts for security positions adopted by parties under conditions of fear and uncertainty. The indistinguishability of offensive-defensive positions and the perceived windows of opportunity have turned the negotiating process into a competitive cost-benefit problem marked by their distinct security considerations. Furthermore, the study develops a loss-framed negotiations model to illustrate likely choices when perceived costs outweigh the importance of prospective gains. The analysis concludes that although parties could be better off by cooperating, suspicion and distrust encourages defection by creating fears of prospective losses with regards to security.

Author Bio(s)

Dr. Pavlos I. Koktsidis (Adj. Lecturer, BA in Politics and International Relations, University of Lancaster; MA in Comparative Ethnic Conflict; PhD in Security and Conflict Analysis, Queen’s University of Belfast). He currently lectures on Foreign Policy, Conflict Resolution, Strategy Terrorism and War, and EU Foreign Policy in the Department of Social and Political Sciences, University of Cyprus. He has also taught on Comparative Politics of Developing Nations, International Organizations and International Security. He is associate researcher with the South Eastern Europe Research Centre (SEERC) where he supervises two doctoral research projects on Balkan Politics, Security, and Conflict and a research associate at the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy in Athens (ELIAMEP). His research interests focus on Conflict Resolution, Terrorism and Insurgency. He is author of numerous publications in international peer-reviewed journals (Journal of Ethnopolitics, Eastern European Quarterly, Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict, Civil Wars, Journal of Southeastern Europe), as well as of many policy-reports and book chapters. He is author of the book Strategic Rebellion: Ethnic Conflict in FYR Macedonia and the Balkans (Peter Lang 2012) and editor of the book Societies in Transition: Economic, Political and Security Transformations in Contemporary Europe (Springer 2015), and currently works on a new edited volume on Islamic Radicalism and the Rise of the Islamic State, with Routledge.


Cyprus Conflict, negotiations, security, ethnic conflict

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