1st Edition

Insular Destinies
Perspectives on the history and politics of modern Cyprus

ISBN 9781032085296
Published June 30, 2021 by Routledge
242 Pages

USD $48.95

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Book Description

In this collection, an eminent authority on the history of political thought and on the intellectual history of modern Hellenism employs his twin academic specializations in political science and in intellectual history to understand the intricacies of the historical experience of his native island. Writing in a perspective inspired by the work of Fernand Braudel, he attempts in a series of studies in cultural and social history to recover lost and overlooked aspects of the collective destinies of Cyprus and the Cypriot diaspora in the centuries of Ottoman rule, a period of critical significance for the survival of the people of the island. He then turns to a penetrating analysis of the politics of the Cyprus Question. The pertinent studies collected in this volume bear the imprint of the deep soul-searching by the younger generation of Cypriot scholars at the time of the tragedy of 1974 over what went so wrong that their country was exposed to foreign invasion, occupation and division. The hints at answers to these questions offered by the author’s interdisciplinary and critical treatment of the subject make this work an indispensable aid to anyone wishing to grasp the deeper antinomies and dilemmas immanent in the Cyprus Question.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Professor Robert Holland


List of Illustrations



Part One: Culture and Society in a Captive Island

  1. Cyprus in History

  2. Early Modern Cypriot Learning: A provisional periodization proposal (1571-1878)

  3. The Patriotism of the Expatriates

  4. Repression and Protest in Traditional Society: Cyprus 1764

  5. The Anonymity of a Prominent Woman in Eighteenth-Century Cyprus

  6. A Moldovian Connection to the Introduction of the Enlightenment in Cyprus: The contribution of Archbishop Kyprianos (1810-1821)

  7. Cyprus in 1821: A report to the Levant Company and the Layers of Historical Memory

  8. Collective Consciousness and Poetry: Three moments in the literary tradition of modern Cyprus

  9. Part Two: The Politics of the Cyprus Question

  10. From Coexistence to Confrontation: The dynamics of ethnic conflict in Cyprus

  11. Ethnic Conflict in a Strategic Area: The case of Cyprus

  12. An Unexplored Case of Political Change: A research note on the electoral history of Cyprus

  13. Political Community in Plural Societies

  14. Relevance or Irrelevance of Nationalism? A perspective from the Eastern Mediterranean

  15. Milestones in the Historiography of the Cyprus Question

Bibliographical and critical notes


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Paschalis M. Kitromilides, PhD Harvard University, is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Athens and Director of the Centre for Asia Minor Studies. From 2000 to 2011 he was Director of the Institute of Neohellenic Research at the National Hellenic Research Foundation. His recent books in English include: Adamantios Korais and the European Enlightenment (Voltaire Foundation, 2010); Enlightenment and Revolution. The Making of Modern Greece (Harvard University Press, 2013); Enlightenment and religion in the Orthodox world (Voltaire Foundation, 2016).


‘The volume anthologizes studies which can safely be characterized as works of fundamental importance for anyone seeking to study modern Cyprus in a comprehensive manner. Not merely because of the new disciplinary pathways which they carved out for scholars, with respect, for example, to the crucial impact of electoral politics on the island’s social reconfiguration, or owing to the conceptual frameworks that they established based on paradigm-setting concepts such as "the dialectic of intolerance": primarily because they constitute bold, far-sighted introspective treatments of the Cyprus Question articulated during a period when few ventured to reflect critically on the issue’ - George Kalpadakis in Kathimerini, 30 April to 02 May 2021.