Research

Thesis title:

Exporting Multicultural Citizenship and the case of Cyprus

Thesis abstract:

This thesis examines how to export liberal theories of Multicultural Citizenship (MC) to post-conflict contexts, applying Kymlicka’s theory of MC to the case of Cyprus. The thesis modifies Kymlicka’s normative theory in order to make it applicable to contexts beyond those of its inception, focusing on cases where cultural identities are highly politicised and securitised. It provides a new theory of MC, a methodological approach for applying normative theories to different contexts, and a multicultural constitutional alternative for Cyprus.

To facilitate the modification of Kymlicka’s MC and its application to Cyprus, the thesis develops a methodological approach called the Reciprocal Model (RM). The RM provides a systematic method for the re-examination of the fundamental assumptions of normative theories, using input from empirical cases. The RM also provides the conceptual tools for extracting policy-relevant suggestions from normative political theories.

Through an immanent critique of Kymlicka’s theory of MC, a new multicultural theory is developed that has an internationally facilitated process of recognition at its core. The theory defended in this thesis adopts an ethnically-blind role for the state that dismisses reified notions of culture while also rejecting the exceptional treatment of cultural identities. It places culture on a level playing field with other individual identities and defends group-differentiated rights to minority groups on the grounds of equality of opportunity, replacing the autonomy-based defence of Kymlicka.

The revised theory of MC, advanced through the application of the RM to the case of Cyprus, allowed for the development of a constitutional model for Cyprus based on multicultural citizenship. The multicultural constitutional model is defended as an alternative to Bizonal Bicommunal Federation – the bicommunal constitutional model underpinning the negotiations for a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem.