Project Summary

Issues of governance in biethnic and multiethnic states and societies have traditionally been a major theme in international politics. This theme has assumed greater importance and relevance following the end of the Cold War. The objective of this project is to create a network that forms the basis of a UNIT of Federal Studies and Governance in Biethnic and Multiethnic Societies (hereafter the UNIT) in order to examine these issues. The general objectives are to: (i) advance the study of federalism and governance in biethnic and multiethnic societies; (ii) transfer and combine theoretical and empirical knowledge from different countries and regions (i.e. US and Balkans); (iii) contribute to the study of issues of politics and governance in divided societies; and (iv) eventually evolve into an entity of international reputation and network capacity to bring together leading international scholars and think tanks. 



The UNIT will help achieve a range of goals in Cyprus and beyond; this includes projecting values such as peaceful co-existence, multiculturalism and democratic governance in the broader region. Methodologically, we will: (i) set up an International Academic Advisory Council (hereafter the IAAC) (ii) create the necessary administrative, technological and research infrastructure; (iii) network with similar institutions globally; (iv) invite leading international scholars to work with/at the UNIT for a specific period of time. The main activities of the UNIT will be: (i) research on issues of federalism and governance in biethnic and multiethnic states; (ii) networking and cooperation among scholars from various countries with the purpose of discussing relevant theoretical issues as well as case studies; and (iii) organization of symposia, conferences, round-table discussions and seminars. The anticipated results are: (i) academic and policy-oriented research publications; (ii) an enhanced understanding of federalism and governance of biethnic and multiethnic states (including Cyprus); (iii) a notable international reputation about the UNIT and its work, which will help promote the development of Cyprus into an international centre of excellence in the study of these issues. 



The benefits expected to accrue from this UNIT are: (i) the establishment of networks and practical ways of cooperation between academics from Cyprus and other countries; (ii) immense value to Cyprus in several ways; e.g. Cyprus as a country moving towards a federal model will find it of great usefulness; subsequently the UNIT will also project itself beyond Cyprus; (iii) an enhancement of the theoretical understanding and level of sophistication on issues pertinent to federal systems of government; (v) contribution to the discourse on the Cyprus problem (i.e. on the negotiated federal system of governance, issues of co-operation and co-existence) and transfer/dissemination of this knowledge to the broader region (Middle East, Balkans, Caucasus); and (vi) broader theoretical contribution on the subjects under study, which will be disseminated through the consortium’s publications, conferences and other activities.