Executive Summary

The protracted conflict in Cyprus produced two competing governance structures that nurtured their own competing and ethnocentric subnational social contracts for almost five decades. Competing loyalties of the two communities and their dependence on their subnational social contracts undermines the peacemaking efforts’ capacity to design a unifying and resilient social contract that goes beyond ethnocentrism under a federal blueprint. Ethnocentrist social contracts and institutional arrangements have evolved and become entrenched through the peace process, creating strong structures of inclusion and exclusion. The over-dependence of the peace process on high-level negotiations and their failure to effectively address the core conflict drivers, coupled with institutional discrimination of rival governance structures, have not created a conducive environment for broadening and deepening social cohesion across the communities. The case of Cyprus illustrates the importance and interconnectedness of the three drivers of resilient social contract making in reconciling the two rival subnational social contracts in pursuit of a sustainable peace settlement, notably by broadening and deepening the political process, by fostering more inclusiveness in institutions and by building trust as follows.

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