A Theoretical Study of Recruitment by the Greek Cypriot Organisation EOKA




Project Number: DIDAKTOR/0609/49


Host Organization: Cyprus Center for European and International Affairs (CCEIA)


Partner Organizations: The cceia of Texas at Austin, Queen’s cceia Belfast



Project Summary

The primary objectives of this project are: to create two theoretical models of recruitment by organisations of political violence, and to and to test their validity through application to a case study of recruitment by the Greek Cypriot organization EOKA (Greek acronym for National Organization of Cypriot Fighters). To that end, the research project will rely on the construction of a new database derived from interviews with ex-combatants in order to test the theoretical models. The project will review and synthesize existing theories of the organisation of political violence with specific focus on recruitment, focusing specifically on testing the role of social networks and social norms in facilitating recruitment. To that end, the project will present two new and innovative theoretical models of recruitment that will test these two causal mechanisms. This approach falls within the emerging field of the study of political violence that is at the cutting edge of political science. Traditional approaches compartmentalised studies of political violence into the areas of either comparative politics or international relations as studies of domestic and international conflict respectively. This new approach shifts emphasis to the explanatory variables of the organisation, conduct and outcomes of violence that occurs within a specific socio-political context by using the political organisation as the unit of analysis.


The findings of the project will also fill a lacuna in the study of this particular case. Even though many aspects of EOKA have been examined, there is no in-depth political scientific study of the organisation’s formation and evolution, especially with an emphasis on recruitment. A particular aim of this project is to provide not only a theoretical explanation, but also empirical data on organisational aspects of the case study. In what ways did the pool of participants, recruitment patterns, and the conduct of political violence emerge and change over time? To provide answers to these questions, the project will rely on data collected through survey questionnaires and in-depth personal interviews with members of the organisation. The construction of this database will allow the Young Researcher to use innovative methodological tools of formal social norms and social network analysis in order to examine the organization from a hitherto unexplored perspective.


This research project aims to develop new knowledge both in theoretical terms and in understanding the project's specific case study. The aim of the Young Researcher is to advance this knowledge through presentation of the findings at international scientific conferences as well as through publication in peer-reviewed academic journals that specialize in this research area. Additionally, the findings of the project will serve to not only advance scientific knowledge but also to contribute to a more thorough understanding of the history of Cypriot society and the existing public discourse on the nation's socio-political past and present.


Acknowledgement: This work was co-funded by the European Regional Development Funds and the Republic of Cyprus through the Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation (Project DIDAKTOR/0609/49).