Portrait of Professor Neophytos Loizides

Professor Neophytos Loizides

Professor of International Conflict Analysis
Deputy Director of the Conflict Analysis Research Centre


Neophytos Loizides is Professor in International Conflict Analysis at the University of Kent. He has previously taught at Queen’s University Belfast and Princeton University and held fellowships at the University of Essex and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Professor Loizides is the author of The Politics of Majority Nationalism: Framing Peace, Stalemates, and Crises Stanford Press (2015), Designing Peace: Cyprus and Institutional Innovations in Divided Societies University of Pennsylvania Press (2016), and Mediating Power-Sharing Routledge (2018 with Feargal Cochrane and Thibaud Bodson). 

He has authored more than forty academic articles and book chapters in the areas of forced displacement, nationalism and conflict regulation in deeply divided societies including most recently work published in the European Journal of Political Research, the International Journal of Constitutional Law, Political Psychology, Ethnic and Racial Studies, and International Migration. Professor Loizides has also served as a consultant to various governments and international organizations including the Council of Europe and has contributed commentaries to international media such as the Guardian, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal. 

Research interests

http://__replace__.meMy research interests focus on political institution building within violently divided societies particularly on how electoral systems, power-sharing and other formal or informal mechanisms can help mitigate minority/majority disputes. 

I am currently involved in collaborative projects with primary focus on the study of: the reversals of forced displacements funded by grants from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (with Djordje Stefanovic and Betul Celik $40,796), the BA (Mid-Career Fellowship £79,447) and the Leverhulme Trust (£40,076) and alternative power-sharing arrangements (with Professor John McGarry, formerly Senior Advisor on power-sharing to the United Nations and advisor to the UN mediation team in Cyprus). 

I am also a Co-I in a British Academic Newton Advanced Fellowship on the transformation of the Cypriot diaspora as peace agents (with Dr Isik Kuscu, METU Ankara, £97,698), CO-I for the A.G. Leventis Foundation grant (with Charis Psaltis) on ‘Cypriot IDP Preferences in Peace Talks’, and a Co-I for the ESRC-funded project on ‘Truth, Accountability or Impunity? Transitional Justice after Economic Crisis’ (£521,257). 

My most recent project is funded by the US Institute of Peace (with Edward Morgan-Jones, Laura Sudulich and Feargal Cochrane)
 and investigates citizen preferences in the design of effective peace processes ($95.678). This project relies on conjoint experiments probing respondents to rate two or more hypothetical packages that have multiple attributes with the objective of estimating zones of possible agreement (e.g. packages that are acceptable to both sides in a conflict) as well as the impact of each concession in the overall public opinion. As peace settlements aim to address multiple dimensions, this novel approach helps identify the precise tradeoffs the public might accept contributing to concise visual maps of cross-community preferences for the different components of a negotiated settlement. Besides running survey experiments in Northern Ireland and Cyprus, 

I have led the development of an online platform ‘the Settlement Scenario Toolkit’ which allows individuals to design their own packages on a complex multi-issue, multi-party dispute and based on existing data to calculate the level of public support for each compromise package. 



PO654 The Politics of Deeply Divided Societies


P0828 Theories of Conflict and Violence


I am interested in supervising projects on topics focusing on institutional accommodation in divided societies, durable solutions to displacement and the stability of peace agreements in post-conflict settings. Other areas of potential interests are federalism, semi-presidential arrangements, electoral systems (particularly PR-proportional representation) and referendums.  

I have extensive supervisory experience including twenty-five articles which have been published/forthcoming so far either jointly or sole-authored by students at all levels - undergraduate, taught postgraduate and doctoral. These publications have appeared in journals such as Comparative Political Studies, Nations and Nationalism, Cooperation and Conflict and West European Politics. 

My PhD students have been appointed so far in academic positions at City University, Kings and the University of Cyprus as well as received prestigious fellowships from Yale, Princeton, NYU and Marburg and international distinctions from the International Studies Association, the Portuguese National Science Foundation, and the Irish Political Science Association. Dr Julian De Medeiros published his doctoral thesis as a book entitled Conspiracy Theory in Turkey: Democracy, Protest and the Modern State in 2018 while Joanna Amaral published Making Peace with Referendums with Syracuse University Press in 2019.



Showing 50 of 55 total publications in the Kent Academic Repository. View all publications.


  • Ozaltin, D., Loizides, N. and Shakir, F. (2019). Why Do People Flee? Revisiting Forced Migration in Post-Saddam Baghdad. Journal of International Migration and Integration [Online]. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12134-019-00674-z.
    When faced with political violence, why do some people choose to leave their homes
    while others stay? This article looks for motivations, particularly socioeconomic
    factors, behind decisions to stay or go. Drawing on new survey data from post-
    Saddam Baghdad, it confirms the general axiom that violent conflicts cause people to
    flee. However, the results are inconclusive in terms of the effect of socioeconomic
    circumstances as a major push or pull factor. Patriotism does not have an impact on
    migration intentions, and optimism about Iraq’s future does not suffice as a pull factor.
    Interestingly, people who intend to flee Iraq are better educated, contrary to the general
    far right media portrayal of refugees.
  • Psaltis, C., Loizides, N., LaPierre, A. and Stefanovic, D. (2019). Transitional justice and acceptance of cohabitation in Cyprus. Ethnic and Racial Studies [Online]:1-20. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/01419870.2019.1574508.
    This article draws on the case of Cyprus to initiate a discussion on the acceptance of renewed cohabitation in post-conflict societies. Besides focusing on the two main communities on the island, the article also examines for the first time the views of the IDPs as well as the settler/migrant community. We identify variations in support for acceptance of renewed cohabitation across different population groups, looking at age, gender, income, refugee status, contact and past victimization within each group. In Study 1, we consider Greek Cypriot attitudes to the Turkish settler/migrant community and juxtapose those with attitudes to indigenous Turkish Cypriots. In Study 2, we compare Turkish Cypriots and settlers aiming to evaluate their attitudes towards Greek Cypriots. Contrary to the dominant narratives, individual victimization, except a tendency related to the IDP status, does not account for variations in acceptance of cohabitation; our findings suggest that those who support peace amnesties are more likely to demonstrate tolerance towards outgroup members while highlighting quality of intergroup contact as a key causal mechanism in mitigating inter-group intolerance.
  • Neophytos, L. (2018). Does the right of return exist in International Law and Practice?. unspecified.
  • Hall, J., Kovras, I., Stefanovic, D. and Loizides, N. (2018). Exposure to Violence and Attitudes Towards Transitional Justice. Political Psychology [Online] 39:345-363. Available at: https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pops.12412.
    Transitional justice has emerged to address victims' needs as a means of restoring relations broken by violence. Yet we know little about victims' attitudes towards different transitional justice mechanisms. Why do some victims prioritize retributive justice while others favor other forms of dealing with the violent past? What determines victims' attitudes towards transitional justice policies? To address these questions, we offer a new theoretical framework that draws upon recent insights from the field of evolutionary psychology and links both war exposure and postwar environments to transitional justice preferences. We argue that both past experiences of wartime violence and present-day social interdependence with perpetrators impact transitional justice preferences, but in divergent ways (resulting in greater support for retributive vs. restorative justice measures, respectively). To test our framework, we rely upon a 2013 representative survey of 1,007 respondents focusing on general population attitudes towards transitional justice in Bosnia two decades after the implementation of the Dayton Accords. Specifically, we examine the impact of displacement, return to prewar homes, loss of property, loss of a loved one, physical injury, imprisonment, and torture on attitudes towards transitional justice. On the whole, our findings confirm our two main hypotheses: Exposure to direct violence and losses is associated with more support for retributive justice measures, while greater present-day interdependence with perpetrators is associated with more support for restorative justice measures. While acknowledging the legacy of wartime violence, we highlight the importance of the postwar context and institutional mechanisms that support victims in reconstructing their lives.
  • Stefanovic, D. and Loizides, N. (2017). Peaceful Returns: Reversing Ethnic Cleansing after the Bosnian War. International Migration [Online] 55:217-234. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/imig.12382.
    This article questions the conventional wisdom which claims forced migration is irreversible following massive ethnic cleansing campaigns, by investigating durable returns to pre-conflict home communities in Bosnia-Herzegovina. We formulate a set of novel hypotheses on the demographic determinants of return as well as on the role of social capital, nationalist ideology, integration, and war victimization. We use a 2013 Bosnian representative sample with 1,007 respondents to test our hypotheses. The findings support the expectation that gender and age have a major impact on return. Net of other factors, women and those experiencing wartime victimization are less likely to return. Older Bosnians with positive memories of pre-conflict interethnic relations are more likely to return than younger persons or those with negative memories. Finally, ethnic Bosniacs are more likely to return than ethnic Croats or Serbs. More nationalistic internally displaced persons (IDPs) are less likely to return.
  • Metivier, S., Stefanovic, D. and Loizides, N. (2017). Struggling for and Within the Community: What Leads Bosnian Forced Migrants to Desire Community Return?. Ethnopolitics [Online]:1-18. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17449057.2017.1349636.
    We seek to explain the desire for community return by displaced persons in Bosnia. We find a key difference between the minorities displaced from the urban and rural parts of Bosnia. While the rural displaced tend to value community returns, the urban displaced are unlikely to do so; hence the generally low success rate of urban returns in post-war Bosnia. Family dynamics seems to influence community returns, as the decision to return often seems to be made by families, not isolated individuals. Finally, less nationalistic displaced persons seem more interested in return into a minority situation than more nationalistic ones.
  • Stefanovic, D., Loizides, N. and Parsons, S. (2015). Home is Where the Heart Is? Forced Migration and Voluntary Return in Turkey’s Kurdish Regions. Journal of Refugee Studies [Online] 28:276-296. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jrs/feu029.
    What influences the decisions of internally displaced persons (IDPs) to return home after prolonged displacement? This article investigates the attitudes of victims of forced migration by analysing survey data on Kurdish displaced persons and returnees in Turkey. In an attempt to give a voice to displaced persons, we survey the conditions under which IDPs return home despite continuing tensions, lack of infrastructure and risk of renewed violence. The findings suggest that integration into a new environment in Western Turkey, measured by economic advancement and knowledge of Turkish, reduces the likelihood of return. Yet contrary to conventional wisdom, more educated IDPs demonstrate a stronger desire to return to their ancestral communities, suggesting that education increases available options for displaced persons. The findings are relevant in informing global responses to forced migration as well as understanding the local experiences and perceptions of IDPs in conflict ridden societies.
  • McGarry, J. and Loizides, N. (2015). Power-Sharing in a Re-United Cyprus: Centripetal Coalitions vs. Proportional Sequential Coalitions. International Journal of Constitutional Law [Online] 13:847-872. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/icon/mov071.
    Power-sharing coalitions in severely divided places can take centripetal or consociational forms. Respectively, these aim to foster moderation by restricting coalitions to moderate parties from different ethnic communities or inclusivity by ensuring that coalitions are broadly and proportionately representative of the main political forces. This article draws on the experience of Cyprus to show the limits of negotiating centripetal coalitions even under “most likely to succeed” conditions. It investigates a major centripetalist initiative on the island between 2008 and 2010, and explains why this failed to catalyze a negotiated settlement. Likewise, the article points to the limits of classic consociational approaches in mediating power-sharing arrangements, particularly approaches that rely on corporate ethnic quotas. Contrary to conventional wisdom and much international practice, the article shows that consociational coalitions can take a liberal form that bypass such quotas. Specifically, the article presents and defends an important innovation in consociational theory and practice: the proportional sequential (PS) coalition. PS coalitions are automatically determined by election results, and allocate portfolios on a proportionate and liberal basis amongst a divided polity’s main political parties. We argue that PS coalitions can provide a broadly inclusive and negotiable settlement in the context of a re-united Cyprus as well as in other divided polities.
  • Loizides, N. (2014). Negotiated settlements and peace referendums. European Journal of Political Research [Online] 53:234-249. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1475-6765.12043.
    Institutional innovations in conflict management have received considerable academic attention
    in the past decades.Yet few studies have considered the design of referendums in peace processes and the
    role of popular mandates in catalysing negotiated settlements. Drawing evidence from divided societies,
    particularly the contrasting cases of South Africa and Cyprus, the article points to the importance of
    ratification sequence and early mandate referendums. Specifically, it demonstrates how mandate referendums
    focusing initially on domestic constituencies enable leaders to pre-empt ethnic outbidding challenges
    while concluding a peace agreement.An early ratification process could safeguard the peace process from
    unavoidable reversals in public opinion, increase flexibility as to the timing of critical decisions and
    maximise the credibility of leaders aiming for a negotiated settlement.The study of mandate referendums
    has important implications for broader research on international mediations since it suggests mechanisms
    by which political actors could ensure the ratification of significant treaties in global or regional politics.
  • Kovras, I. and Loizides, N. (2014). The Sovereign Debt Crisis in Southern Europe: Majoritarian Pitfalls?. Comparative Politics 47:1-20.
    Although widely debated in broader socioeconomic terms, the Eurozone crisis has not received yet adequate scholarly attention with regard to the impact of alternative political systems. This article revisits the debate on majoritarian and consensus democracies drawing on recent evidence from the Eurozone debacle. Greece is particularly interesting both with regard to its potential ‘global spillover effects’ and choice of a majoritarian political system. Despite facing comparable challenges as Portugal and Spain, the country has become polarized socially and politically, seeing a record number of MP defections, electoral volatility and the rise of the militant extreme right. The article points to the role of majoritarian institutions to explain why Greece entered the global financial crisis in the most vulnerable position while subsequently faced insurmountable political and institutional obstacles in its management.
  • Moore, G., Loizides, N., Sandal, N. and Lordos, A. (2013). Winning Peace Frames: Intra-Ethnic Outbidding in Northern Ireland and Cyprus. West European Politics [website of West European Politics (published online)] 37:159-181. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01402382.2013.801576.
    Ethnic outbidding in divided societies can have dire political consequences, ranging from the derailment of peace processes to inter-ethnic warfare. This article investigates the conditions contributing to successful outbidding within the framework of protracted peace negotiations by using the contrasting cases of Northern Ireland and Cyprus. Evidence demonstrates that successful outbidders are able to exploit the fears of their communities with respect to inter-ethnic compromise while identifying appropriate strategies and opportunities for redressing these grievances. The article demonstrates that the degree of outbidding success over the long term derives from combining diagnostic and prognostic frames linked to credible political and constitutional strategies.
  • Sandal, N. and Loizides, N. (2013). Center-right parties in peace processes: ’Slow Learning’ or punctuated peace socialization?. Political Studies [Online] 61:401-421. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9248.2012.00971.x.
    This article examines why center-right parties that have partly built their image around ethnic or religious identities reverse their positions to support peace arrangements. Political settlements in divided societies frequently run counter to the values of these parties and are also potentially damaging to their internal party cohesion. We argue that political learning through sustained interaction with external pro-peace allies transforms the positions of center-right parties by socializing them when it comes to their international agenda, yet the same effect is not observed in party actions within the sphere of domestic intra-communal politics. Drawing from the Cypriot and Northern Irish peace processes, we show that once these parties embrace peace agreements, they do so by balancing international and local considerations, choosing to compensate domestic constituencies on symbolic issues of less importance for the peace process yet of major significance to conservative constituencies. The study of center-right and conservative peace actors has important implications for research on mediation and international conflict since it suggests mechanisms through which policy makers can better engage with ethnic or religious parties in fragile peace processes.
  • Kovras, I. and Loizides, N. (2012). Protracted Stalemates and Conflict Intervention: Policy (Un)Learning and the Cyprus-EU Debacle. Ethnopolitics [Online] 11:406-423. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17449057.2012.697653.
    The article examines why a comprehensive settlement to resolve the Cyprus problem has yet to be reached despite the existence of a positive incentive structure and the proactive involvement of regional and international organizations, including the European Union and the United Nations. To address this question, evidence from critical turning points in foreign policy decision-making in Turkey, Greece and the two communities in Cyprus is drawn on. The role of hegemonic political discourses is emphasized, and it is argued that the latter have prevented an accurate evaluation of incentives that could have set the stage for a constructive settlement. However, despite the political debacle in the Cypriot negotiations, success stories have emerged, such as the reactivation of the Committee for Missing Persons (CMP), a defunct body for almost 25 years, to become the most successful bi-communal project following Cyprus's EU accession. Contradictory evidence in the Cypriot peace process is evaluated and policy lessons to be learned from the CMP ‘success story’ are identified.
  • Loizides, N. (2011). Contested migration and settler politics in Cyprus. Political Geography [Online] 30:391-401. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.polgeo.2011.08.004.
    Immigration and settler literatures provide contrasting approaches to the evaluation of conflict between ‘newcomers’ and ‘indigenous’ groups. On the one hand, immigration studies emphasize that newcomers, particularly migrants, almost never fight civil wars; on the other hand, studies on settlers in contested territories expect inherently unstable relations between settlers and native populations affected by colonization projects. While each provides strong evidence to support its argument, neither literature has adequately accounted for hybrid cases where the settler and migrant categories have become almost indistinguishable. The article focuses on Cyprus as a paradigmatic such case. Specifically, it looks at populations transferred from Turkey to the northern part of the island after 1974 described either as settlers or immigrants by rival accounts in the Cypriot conflict. While colonization constitutes a violation of international conventions and a major obstacle to peace, settlers in such places as Cyprus, Tibet or Western Sahara often meet the profile of migrant populations more interested in daily survival issues than in territorial politics. In contrast to other historical or contemporary cases of settler colonialism such as Algeria (France) or West Bank and Gaza (Israel), what is particularly puzzling in Cyprus and elsewhere is the absence of mobilization and politicization among settlers despite perceived discrimination and fear of relocation following a negotiated peace agreement. Addressing this puzzle is essential to bridging the gaps between immigration and settler literatures and in mediating the tensions between conflicting claims over space, land and the political geography of peace settlements in deeply divided societies
  • Kovras, I. and Loizides, N. (2011). Delaying truth recovery for missing persons. Nations and Nationalism [Online] 17:520-539. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-8129.2009.00437.x.
    The fate of missing persons is a central issue in post-conflict societies facing truth recovery and human rights dilemmas. Despite widespread public sympathy towards relatives, societies emerging from conflict often defer the recovery of missing for decades. More paradoxically, in post-1974 Cyprus, the official authorities delayed unilateral exhumations of victims buried within cemeteries in their own jurisdiction. Analysis of official post-1974 discourses reveals a Greek-Cypriot consensus to emphasise the issue as one of Turkish aggression, thus downplaying in-group responsibilities and the legacy of intra-communal violence. We compare the experience of Cyprus with other post-conflict societies such as Spain, Northern Ireland, and Mozambique and explore the linkages between institutions and beliefs about transitional justice. We argue that elite consensus initiates and facilitates the transition to democracy but often leads to the institutionalisation of groups opposing truth recovery even for in-group members.
  • Suzuki, A. and Loizides, N. (2011). Escalation of interstate crises of conflictual dyads: Greece-Turkey and India-Pakistan. Cooperation and Conflict [Online] 46:21-39. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0010836710396770.
    This article examines the causation and extent of interstate crisis escalation among two conflictual dyads, namely Greece–Turkey and India–Pakistan. It draws from the International Crisis Behaviour dataset to present a new sub-dataset of 12 interstate crises involving the two dyads in the period 1987 to 2002. While crisis behaviour in Greece–Turkey has frequently been analysed within the context of two major regional organizations (NATO and the EU), Indian–Pakistani crises have been studied within the perspective of nuclear proliferation. To examine the linkage between these features and interstate crises, the article operationalizes the security dilemma and the diversionary theory of war through a probabilistic model. Using Ragin’s (2000) comparative qualitative analysis, it demonstrates that both the security dilemma and diversionary theory explain crisis escalation, although the latter covers more cases with a smaller margin of error. Moreover, the article demonstrates that Greek–Turkish crises have generally escalated to relatively low levels of conflict (threat of war or show of force), while Indian–Pakistani crises have spiralled to higher levels of confrontation (use of force). In both dyads, nuclear weapons and regional organizations have shaped the boundaries of possible escalatory action. The EU and NATO have contributed to mitigating crisis escalation and the use of force between the Aegean neighbours, while unintentionally encouraging low intensity confrontations; meanwhile, in South Asia, nuclear weapons in combination with fragile domestic regimes have exacerbated crises, particularly in the form of state-sponsored unconventional warfare.
  • Stefanovic, D. and Loizides, N. (2011). The way home: Peaceful return of victims of ethnic cleansing. Human Rights Quarterly [Online] 33:408-430. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/hrq.2011.0029.
    This article examines how the right of return is negotiated and implemented in post-conflict societies. It focuses on cases of voluntary yet difficult returns and identifies the conditions under which victims of ethnic cleansing choose to return despite opposition from new occupants and hostile local authorities. The article provides a theoretical framework for the study of return and examines the importance of security provisions, material incentives, contact, and ideology. Drawing on the experiences of Bosnian (Drvar) and Cypriot (Maronite) returnees, it emphasizes the role of social capital as manifested through refugee organizations and demonstrates how community effort resolves coordination and commitment problems, thereby facilitating a voluntary peaceful return.
  • Loizides, N., Kovras, I. and Ireton, K. (2011). Federalism, Reconciliation and Power-Sharing in post-conflict societies. Federal Governance [Online] 8:1-14. Available at: http://library.queensu.ca/ojs/index.php/fedgov/article/view/4373.
    This special issue examines the interplay between reconciliation in postconflict societies and alternative mechanisms of political accommodation. In our introductory article, we define and explore the central concepts used in post-conflict studies while investigating the potential linkages between reconciliation and federal or power-sharing arrangements. We argue that addressing issues of justice, reconciliation and amnesty in the aftermath of conflict frequently facilitates cooperation in establishing successful institutional mechanisms at the political level. We also examine the degree to which reconciliation at the grassroots level should be seen as a prerequisite of consolidating power-sharing arrangements among elites particularly in the form of federal agreements. Finally, we discuss the individual contributions to the special issue and highlight the importance of incorporating insights from the literature of transitional justice and post-conflict reconciliation to the study and practice of federalism.
  • Loizides, N. (2010). State ideology and the Kurds in Turkey. Middle Eastern Studies [Online] 46:513-527. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00263206.2010.492987.
    This article evaluates theories of nationalism by examining the formation of Kurdish nationalism in Turkey. It deals particularly with the various manifestations of contemporary Kurdish minority question and provides an account for the late development of Kurdish nationalism in Turkey. It situates the Kurdish experience within the broader experience of the post-Ottoman world and analyzes the awakening of Kurdish national identity among broader segments of the population. It provides an alternative to Ernest Gellner’s functionalist account of nationalism and industrialization by stressing the link between state policies and minority nationalism. It considers the political, social and other implications of state repression as well as the opportunities created in the diaspora or through external intervention. It argues that state policies in Turkey did not prevent and even contributed to the rise of Kurdish minority nationalism. Finally, the article raises two interrelated questions: what types of nationalism have Kurds developed under conditions of limited expression and what options for conflict resolution are present particularly in light of Turkey’s democratization and EU accession process.
  • Megwalu, A. and Loizides, N. (2010). Dilemmas of Justice and Reconciliation: Rwandans and the Gacaca Courts. African Journal of International and Comparative Law [Online] 18:1-23. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/E0954889009000486.
    Following the 1994 genocide, several justice initiatives were implemented in Rwanda, including a tribunal established by the United Nations, Rwanda’s national court system and Gacaca, a ‘traditional’ community-run conflict resolution mechanism adapted to prosecute genocide perpetrators. Since their inception in 2001, the Gacaca courts have been praised for their efficiency and for widening participation but criticized for lack of due process, trained personnel and attention to atrocities committed by the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). To evaluate these criticisms, we survey 227 Rwandans and analyze their attitudes towards Gacaca in relation to demographic characteristics such as education, residence and loss of relatives during the genocide.
  • Loizides, N. and Antoniades, M. (2009). Negotiating the right of return. Journal of Peace Research [Online] 46:611-622. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0022343309339245.
    Negotiating the right of return is a central issue in post-conflict societies aiming to resolve tensions between human rights issues and security concerns. Peace proposals often fail to carefully balance these tensions or to identify incentives and linkages that enable refugee return. To address this gap, the article puts forward an alternative arrangement in negotiating refugee rights currently being considered in the bilateral negotiations in Cyprus. Previous peace plans for the reunification of the island emphasized primarily Turkish Cypriot security and stipulated a maximum number of Greek Cypriot refugees eligible to return under future Turkish Cypriot administration. The authors’ alternative suggests a minimum threshold of Greek Cypriots refugees plus self-adjustable incentives for the Turkish Cypriot community to accept the rest. The article reviews different options including linking actual numbers of returnees with naturalizations for Turkish settlers or immigrants, Turkey’s EU-accession, and territorial re-adjustments across the federal border. In this proposed formula, the Greek Cypriot side would reserve concessions until refugee return takes place, while the Turkish Cypriot community would be ‘demographically secure’ under all scenarios by means of re-adjustable naturalization and immigration quotas. Drawing parallels with comparable cases, the article emphasizes the importance of making reciprocity and linkages explicit in post-conflict societies.
  • Loizides, N. (2009). The presidential election in Cyprus, February 2008. Electoral Studies [Online] 28:163-166. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.electstud.2008.09.002.
    A two-round presidential election was held in Cyprus on February 17 and February 24, 2008. The election was the first to take place after the country’s accession to the European Union and the abortive UN-planned referendum on reunification in 2004. It was also the first to be contended and won by a leader of AKEL, the communist party of Cyprus. The 2008 election took place in a highly politicized environment, in the midst of concern over the future of bicommunal negotiations. Incumbent President Tassos Papadopoulos rallied the nationalist vote against his moderate rivals Ioannis Kasoulides from centre right DISY and Dimitris Christofias from AKEL. A surprise electoral outcome was the elimination of Tassos Papadopoulos in the first round despite polls predicting the contrary. Dimitris Christofias became President, and efforts to reunify the island resumed after his election to the presidency.
  • Loizides, N. (2009). Religious nationalism and adaptation in Southeast Europe. Nationalities Papers [Online] 37:203-227. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00905990902745742.
    Relating nationalism to other ideologies or cultural values is one of the most enigmatic scholarly activities. The enigma lies in the kaleidoscopic nature of nationalism and the ease with which it adapts or relates to philosophically opposed ideologies (Hutchinson & Smith, 1994, 3). For example, nationalism often assumes ties to liberalism, even though it presupposes a strong commitment to the national community that transcends individualism. It accommodates conservatism fairly well despite nationalism’s modernizing mission, and it has often been paired with communism, despite the latter’s internationalist rhetoric. More surprisingly, nationalism and religion often go hand in hand, despite their deep philosophical inconsistencies. Nationalism is inherently local, philosophically poor, and limited and it lacks the belief in afterlife salvation and creative intelligence as source of meaning behind the universe (Anderson, 1983; Greenfeld, 1996b). Yet it frequently relates to religions such as Christianity and Islam which are universal in their membership and message of salvation. The article examines the latter relationship, namely that of nationalism and religion, through evidence from Southeast Europe in the past three centuries. It identifies religious and linguistic cleavages as alternative sources of identity construction and points to the extent to which the interplay of the two can help us understand and evaluate contemporary theories of nationalism. Based on the Balkan experience, the article evaluates theories of nationalism put forward by Ernest Gellner (1983), Benedict Anderson (1983), Miroslav Hroch (1985), Anthony Smith (1971) and John Hutchinson (1987). It finally identifies the degree to which religion and nationalism have adapted to serve domestic constraints, new ideological waves and opportunities for ethnonational expansion or contraction facing modern nationalist movements as argued elsewhere by Hroch (1985 & 1998), Magocsi (1997) and Laitin, (1998).
  • Loizides, N. (2009). Elite framing and conflict transformation in Turkey. Parliamentary Affairs [Online] 62:278-297. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pa/gsn038.
    This article examines the effects of elite framing on conflict transformation. It utilises debates from the Turkish Grand National Assembly as the main source of empirical evidence and demonstrates the differences in the way Turkish parliamentarians framed national and foreign policy issues in the 1990s. For the most part, elite framing of Kurdish issues was predominantly monolithic and adversarial towards ‘ethnic others’, demonstrating few challenges to dominant nationalist narratives and discourses, while framing of Greek–Turkish disputes was diverse, with moderates cautiously challenging hardliners on the necessity of cooperating with Greece. The article unravels these elite framing strategies and illustrates how framing becomes embedded in public identities, opportunity structures and definitions of national interest, influencing crisis escalation and conflict management in the Eastern Mediterranean region.
  • Loizides, N. (2007). Ethnic nationalism and adaptation in Cyprus. International Studies Perspectives [Online] 8:172-189. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1528-3585.2007.00279.x.
    Both ethnic communities in Cyprus have maintained strong political and cultural ties with Greece and Turkey, respectively, and at some point of their twentieth century history, each has aspired to become part of either the former or the latter. Yet the way this relationship has been imagined has differed across time, space, and class. Both communities have adapted their identities to prevailing ideological waves as well as political opportunities, domestic alliances, and interests. The article evaluates different responses to ethnic nationalism, highlighting important intra-ethnic differentiations within each Cypriot community usually expressed in the positions of political parties, intellectuals, and the press. While the current literature identifies two major poles of identity in the island, “motherland nationalism” and “Cypriotism,” the article suggests that the major focus of identity of Cypriots is identification with their respective ethnic communities in the form of Greek Cypriotism or Turkish Cypriotism. In fact, contentious politics in Cyprus from the ENOSIS/TAKSIM struggle to the April 2004 referendum demonstrate the interplay of external constraints and collective self-identification processes leading to the formation of these identities. The article concludes by identifying the implications of identity shifts for deeply divided societies and conflict resolution in general.


  • Cochrane, F., Loizides, N. and Bodson, T. (2018). Mediating Power-Sharing: Devolution and Consociationalism in Deeply Divided Societies. [Online]. Abingdon, UK: Routledge. Available at: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781351250566.
    This book will focus on Power-Sharing in deeply divided societies. Beyond this starting point, the book seeks to examine the different ways in which consociational institutions emerge from negotiations and peace settlements across three carefully chosen cases –Northern Ireland, the Brussels Capital Region and Cyprus. Across each of the chapters, the analysis will assess how the design of these various forms of power-sharing demonstrates similarity, difference and complexity in how power-sharing has been conceived and operated within each of these contexts. Finally, a key objective of the book will be to explore and evaluate how ideas surrounding power-sharing have evolved and changed incrementally within each of the empirical contexts. The uniting argument within the book is that consociational power-sharing has to have the capacity to adapt to changing political circumstances, and that this can be achieved through the interplay of formal and informal micro-level refinements to these institutions and the procedures that govern them, that allow such institutions to evolve over time in ways that increase their utility as conflict transformation governance structures for deeply divided societies.
  • Loizides, N. (2015). Designing Peace: Cyprus and Institutional Innovations in Divided Societies. [Online]. University of Pennsylvania Press. Available at: http://www.upenn.edu/pennpress/book/15427.html.
    Why do some societies choose to adopt federal settlements in the face of acute ethnic conflict, while others do not? Neophytos Loizides examines how acrimoniously divided Cyprus could re-unify by adopting a federal and consociational arrangement inspiring similar attempts in its region.

    Loizides asserts that institutional innovation is key in designing peace processes. Analyzing power-sharing in Northern Ireland, the return of displaced persons in Bosnia, and the preparatory mandate referendum in South Africa, he shows how divided societies have implemented novel solutions despite conditions that initially seemed prohibitive. Turning to Cyprus, he chronicles the breakthrough that led to the exhumations of the missing after 2003, and observes that a society's choice of narratives and institutions can overcome structural constraints. While Loizides points to the relative absence of successful federal and consociational arrangements among societies evolving from the "post-Ottoman space," he argues that neither elites nor broader societies in the region must be held hostages to the past.

    To effect lasting and positive change, Loizides encourages stakeholders in divided societies to be prepared to identify, redesign, and implement innovative new institutions. Examining successful peace mediations and identifying the shared experience and commonalities between Cyprus and other divided societies promises not only to inform the tackling of the Cyprus problem but also to provide transferable knowledge with broader implications for the fields of peace studies and conflict resolution.

    Neophytos Loizides is Reader in International Conflict Analysis at the University of Kent.
  • Loizides, N. (2015). The Politics of Majority Nationalism: Framing Peace, Stalemates and Crises. [Online]. Stanford, Calif., USA: Stanford University Press. Available at: http://www.sup.org/books/title/?id=21483.
    What drives the politics of majority nationalism during crises, stalemates and peace mediations? In his innovative study of majority nationalism, Neophytos Loizides answers this important question by investigating how peacemakers succeed or fail in transforming the language of ethnic nationalism and war. The Politics of Majority Nationalism focuses on the contemporary politics of the 'post-Ottoman neighborhood' to explore conflict in the region drawing on systematic coding of parliamentary debates, the book analyses and explains the under-emphasized linkages between institutions, symbols, and framing processes that enable or restrict the choice of peace. Emphasizing the constraints societies face when trapped in antagonistic frames, Loizides argues wisely mediated institutional arrangements can allow peacemaking to progress.

    The Politics of Majority Nationalism focuses first on the Middle East and the Balkans to explore crises, stalemates, and peace mediations involving Turkey and Greece and including European Union, Kurdish, Cypriot, Syrian and (Slav) Macedonian issues. In addition to employing a novel mixed-method research design to study frames, crisis behavior, and mediation analysis, the book also extends its arguments to the post-communist transitions in Serbia, Georgia, and Ukraine.

    Exploring systematically, and for the first time, the politics of majority nationalism in its various manifestations, Neophytos Loizides shows how ethnopolitical frames influence crisis behavior, protracted stalemates, and ultimately thechoice of peace. He provides a comprehensive account of the failures and successes of accommodation mechanisms in the Middle East and the Balkans and identifies the ideational pre-conditions of peace and conflict while highlighting for policy-makers and mediators a set of tools to use when communicating peace messages to local and national constituencies.

Book section

  • Loizides, N. and Kutlay, M. (2019). The Cyprus Stalemate: Opportunities for Peace and Lessons from Turkish-Bulgarian Ethnic Relations. In: Heraclides, A. and Cakmak, G. eds. Greece and Turkey in Conflict and Cooperation. Routledge, pp. 145-157. Available at: https://www.crcpress.com/Greece-and-Turkey-in-Conflict-and-Cooperation-From-Europeanization-to-De-Europeanization/Heraclides-Cakmak/p/book/9781138301887.
  • Loizides, N. and McGarry, J. (2019). The 2002-2004 Annan Plan in Cyprus: An Attempted UN-Mediated Constitutional Transition. In: Anderson, G. and Choudhry, S. eds. Territory and Power in Constitutional Transitions. Oxford University Press. Available at: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/territory-and-power-in-constitutional-transitions-9780198836544?q=Territory%20and%20Power%20in%20Constitutional%20Transitions&lang=en&cc=gb.
  • Loizides, N. and Ekenoglu, B. (2018).Refugees, Settlers and Diasporas in the Cyprus Conflict.” In: Michael, M. and Vural, Y. eds. Cyprus and the Roadmap for Peace: A Critical Interrogation of the Conflict. Edward Elgar, pp. 119-135.
  • Loizides, N. (2017). Stalled Conflicts in the Mediterranean. In: Gillespie, R. and Volpi, F. eds. Routledge Handbook of Mediterranean Politics. Routledge, pp. 171-181. Available at: https://www.routledge.com/9781138903982.
  • Bodson, T. and Loizides, N. (2017). Consociationalism in the Brussels Capital Region: Dis-Proportional Representation and the Accommodation of National Minorities. In: McCulloch, A. and McGarry, J. eds. Power-Sharing: Empirical and Normative Challenges. Routledge.
    This chapter examines the Brussels’ consociational model, a sophisticated and original system of regional and urban governance. We focus on two critical features of broader interest to consociational theories: proportionality and minority protection. While most classic and contemporary studies of consociationalism associate the latter with proportional representation (Lijphart 1968; McEvoy 2006; McGarry and O’Leary, 2009), we demonstrate how in Brussels, mechanisms of minority protection have substantially modified proportional representation, resulting in what has been called a “protective dis-proportional representation model.” We discuss the potential benefits and limits of dis-proportionality in favor of Dutch speakers in Brussels emphasizing the broader context of Belgium’s multi-level consociationalism (favoring the French speakers in Belgium’s central government). Finally, we propose a legal analysis of the Brussels dis-proportional representation model and question the compliance of the latter with the fundamental principles of equality and non-discrimination.
  • Loizides, N. (2015). Ontological Security and Ethnic Adaptation in Cyprus. In: Rumelili, B. ed. Conflict Resolution and Ontologicial Security : Peace Anxieties. Routledge, pp. 71-94. Available at: http://www.taylorandfrancis.com/books/details/9780415749121/.
  • Loizides, N. (2015). Challenging Partition in Cyprus: Five Success Stories. In: Ker-Lindsay, J. ed. Resolving Cyprus: New Approaches to Conflict Resolution. London: I.B. Tauris, pp. 178-185.
  • Loizides, N. (2015). Settlers and Mobilization in Cyprus: Antinomies of Ethnic Conflict and Immigration Politics. In: Settler Politics in Contested Lands: Territorial Disputes and Ethnic Conflicts. Stanford University Press, pp. 168-192.
    Settlers feature in many protracted territorial disputes and ethnic conflicts around the world. Explaining the dynamics of the politics of settlers in contested territories in several contemporary cases, this book illuminates how settler-related conflicts emerge, evolve, and are significantly more difficult to resolve than other disputes.

    Written by country experts, chapters consider Israel and the West Bank, Arab settlers in Kirkuk, Moroccan settlers in Western Sahara, settlers from Fascist Italy in North Africa, Turkish settlers in Cyprus, Indonesian settlers in East Timor, and Sinhalese settlers in Sri Lanka. Addressing four common topics—right-sizing the state, mobilization and violence, the framing process, and legal principles versus pragmatism—the cases taken together raise interrelated questions about the role of settlers in conflicts in contested territory. Then looking beyond the similar characteristics, these cases also illuminate key differences in levels of settler mobilization and the impact these differences can have on peace processes to help explain different outcomes of settler-related conflicts. Finally, cases investigate the causes of settler mobilization and identify relevant conflict resolution mechanisms.
  • Loizides, N. (2012). Transformations of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot Right. In: Trimikliniotis, N. and Bozkurt, U. eds. Beyond a Divided Cyprus: A State and Society in Transformation. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 185-201.
  • Loizides, N. (2009). The Challenge of a Constitutional Convention for Cyprus. In: Auer, A. and Triga, V. eds. A Constitutional Convention for Cyprus. Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Berlin. Available at: http://www.wvberlin.de/data/inhalt/inhaltsverzeichnisse_pdf/978-3-86573-423-5.pdf.
  • Loizides, N. (2009). An Appraisal of the Functionality of Annan Plan V. In: Varnavas, A. and Faustmann, H. eds. Reunifying Cyprus: The Annan Plan and Beyond. London: I. B. Tauris, pp. 87-99. Available at: http://www.ibtauris.com/Books/Society%20%20social%20sciences/Politics%20%20government/International%20relations/Geopolitics/Reunifying%20Cyprus%20The%20Annan%20Plan%20and%20Beyond.aspx.
  • Loizides, N. and Ersin, E. (2006). The EU Challenge: A View from the Turkish Grand National Assembly. In: Joseph, J. S. ed. Turkey and the European Union: Internal and External Challenges. Palgrave, pp. 71-82. Available at: http://www.palgrave.com/pdfs/0230005497.pdf.

Datasets / databases

  • Loizides, N. (2009). Greek-Turkish Negotiations and Crises 1983-2003. [Online]. Available at: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/CentrefortheStudyofEthnicConflict/TeachingResearch/Datasets/Greek-TurkishNegotiationsandCrises1983-2003.
  • Loizides, N. (2009). Referendums in Peace Processes. [Online]. Available at: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/CentrefortheStudyofEthnicConflict/TeachingResearch/Datasets/ReferendumsinPeaceProcesses/.
    To what extent are referendums useful in resolving intractable conflict and bringing peace? If Israelis and Palestinians or Sinhalese and Tamils reach a peace settlement in their decades-old conflicts, would a referendum be useful in ratifying a negotiated agreement and, if so, how should it be designed, monitored and implemented? To better understand these questions, this project proposes the first worldwide collection of data on referendums in peace processes aiming to identify the conditions under which referendums enable or impede negotiated agreements. Currently the project's website includes a pilot description of seven major case studies aiming to help guide future data collection on the topic. The project’s website will expand to allow users to identify a country of interest and access detailed narratives on the background of each conflict and the conditions leading to referendums or alternative ratification processes (or their absence). It will include data on the design, scope and timing of each referendum, the wording of specific referendum question(s) and data on violence including levels, nature and duration of violent incidents before and after (non)referendums. It will also cover important disputes over territorial boundaries, issues of transitional justice (e.g. amnesty for rebels) and eligibility to vote for certain groups (e.g. recent settlers/migrants). Moreover, the dataset will provide detailed analysis of key actors in referendum campaigns and their main arguments as well as positive or negative media and civil society input and final outcomes along with links to relevant surveys.

Edited book

  • Loizides, N. (2015). Settlers, Mobilization, and Displacement in Cyprus: Antinomies of Ethnic Conflict and Immigration Politics. [Online]. Haklai, O. and Loizides, N. G. eds. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Available at: http://www.sup.org/books/title/?id=21544.
    Settlers feature in many protracted territorial disputes and ethnic conflicts around the world. Explaining the dynamics of the politics of settlers in contested territories in several contemporary cases, this book illuminates how settler-related conflicts emerge, evolve, and are significantly more difficult to resolve than other disputes.

    Written by country experts, chapters consider Israel and the West Bank, Arab settlers in Kirkuk, Moroccan settlers in Western Sahara, settlers from Fascist Italy in North Africa, Turkish settlers in Cyprus, Indonesian settlers in East Timor, and Sinhalese settlers in Sri Lanka. Addressing four common topics—right-sizing the state, mobilization and violence, the framing process, and legal principles versus pragmatism—the cases taken together raise interrelated questions about the role of settlers in conflicts in contested territory. Then looking beyond the similar characteristics, these cases also illuminate key differences in levels of settler mobilization and the impact these differences can have on peace processes to help explain different outcomes of settler-related conflicts. Finally, cases investigate the causes of settler mobilization and identify relevant conflict resolution mechanisms.

Research report (external)

  • Psaltis, C., Stefanovic, D. and Neophytos, L. (2017). Current Views of Greek Cypriot Displaced Persons on Return and Property Restitution (summary). Friends of Cyprus.
    This study was conducted by the University Centre for Field Studies of the University of Cyprus in Nicosia, Cyprus, through telephone interviews using the NIPO/CATI program. The phone survey used both land lines and mobile phone numbers and ran from 29 February 2016 to 22 March 2016. Participants came from both urban and rural areas in each district of the Republic of Cyprus (Greek Cypriot community). Eligible participants were over 18 years old with voting rights. The total sample included 1605 participants. The findings in this section are for the Greek Cypriot sample only. The questionnaire for this survey was prepared by Djordje Stefanovic of St Mary’sUniversity, Canada, Neophytos Loizides of the University of Kent, UK and Charis Psaltis, the University of Cyprus with the support of their institutions and funding for the survey from the Leverhulme Trust.


  • Loizides, N. (2013). The Make-Believe Space: Affective Geography in a Postwar Polity. Journal of Historical Geography [Online] 42:226-227. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhg.2013.07.020.
    Duke University Press, Durham (2012), xiv + 270 pages, US$24.95 paper
  • Kovras, I. and Loizides, N. (2013). The Media and the Far Right in Western Europe. Journal of Politics [Online] 75:21-33. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0022381613000613.
    Cambridge University Press, 2010
  • Loizides, N. (2012). Challenging Transnational Security Regimes. International Peacekeeping [Online] 19:142-144. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13533312.2012.642181.
    Emerging Transnational (In)security Governance: A Statist-Transnational
    Approach edited by Ersel Aydinli. London: Routledge, 2010. Pp.190 + notes +
    bibliography + index. ISBN-13 978-0-415-56360-4. £130 (hbk).


  • Sucuoglu, G. (2015). Reframing Responsibility: The Limitations and Potential of International Narratives in Statebuilding.
    Statebuilding is widely defined as a comprehensive and external exercise that aims to shape economic, security and administrative structures and institutions in a post-conflict society by promoting liberal internationalist norms. This thesis proposes that the narratives on statebuilding assign limited responsibility to international actors engaged in statebuilding, despite its comprehensive and intrusive nature: a mismatch dubbed as the ¨responsibility gap¨. It continues to propose that the limited attribution of responsibility to actors engaged in external statebuilding is possible through ¨discursive safeguards¨ inherent in the framing of statebuilding. These propositions are tested in four stages: a) conducting a frame and discourse analysis on statebuilding in order to understand the way international responsibilities are framed, b) formulating an alternative framework to attribute responsibility by utilizing perspectives on moral responsibility, c) comparing these two frameworks to identify a responsibility gap in the way the statebuilding frame attributes responsibility to external actors, d) pointing out the discursive safeguards in international narratives that allow sustaining the responsibility gaps. As a last step, the propositions are tested through a case study, on the involvement of the European Union in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • Fokaides, C. (2014). Reconciling Nation and State: Glafkos Clerides and Political Transformation in Cyprus.
    Conventional wisdom holds that ethnic nationalism is incompatible with politics of compromise and reconciliation in conflict-ridden societies. This dissertation provides empirical evidence to the contrary by examining the revision of Greek unionist nationalism in Cyprus, under the transformative leadership of former Cypriot president Glafkos Clerides. The first part of the dissertation focuses on the development of various manifestations of nationalism in the Greek Cypriot community, highlighting particularly the limitations hindering the development of a civic form of nationalism in the island. The second part of the dissertation focuses on Clerides’ liberal brand of ethnic nationalism and argues that the former Cypriot leader provides an insightful example of how liberal nationalism can be combined with policies of compromise and peace building, informing relevant literature, which has provided considerable theoretical insight but lacks sufficient empirical evidence. Based on the work of Yack (2012) and others (Beissinger 2008; Kymlicka 1996), this dissertation argues that while several myths and certain significant limitations hindered the development of Cypriotism, Clerides’ liberal brand of ethnic nationalism was able to facilitate reconciliation and accommodate federalism in Cyprus. To support this argument, the dissertation relies on the hitherto unpublished archive of Democratic Rally and personal interviews with Clerides and several of his associates and critics. Specifically, it demonstrates how Clerides’ transformative leadership led to the revision of Greek unionist nationalism in the post-1974 era. Coming to terms with the intransigent ethnic ‘unionist’ legacy of the Right, historically associated with the goal of union with Greece, Clerides led the way to the revision of Greek nationalism and was the first to endorse federalism in the Greek Cypriot community. Yet Clerides’ political transformation did not aim at abandoning nationalist sentiments and symbols. His perception of a federal state as a multinational entity, allowed him not to undermine the two national communities of the island in its effort to promote a single Cypriot polity. In this context, the linkage of a federal solution with the accession of Cyprus to a federal Europe became a key component of his policy for the solution of the Cyprus problem. In view of current negotiations, the political legacy of Clerides can be informative for stakeholders, both inside and outside the island.

Visual media

  • Loizides, N. (2018). Professor Neophytos Loizides, Interview at CYBC. [CYBC]. CYBC. Available at: http://cybc.com.cy/video-on-demand/.
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