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The History of the Communist Party in Cyprus
Colonialism, Class and the Cypriot Left. International Library of Twentieth Century History
Cypriot pollitics are among the most contentious in Europe, and frequently attract the attention of the international community. Here, Yiannos Katsourides traces the historical development of the Cypriot party system, and in particular the growth of the Communist Party, now known as AKEL- the first formally organised political party on the island. The party was a political movement with a specific programme for radical reform that conficted both with the British Empire and the local establishment. It was treated with hostility and declared illegal. Based on new archival research, Katsorides addresses the social, religious, economic and political environment in which communist and working class politics existed on the island, and locates them within the context of a country connected inextricably with Turkey, Great Britain and Greece. This book will be of significant interest to anyone interested in the history of Cyprus, European communist movements or British colonialism and diplomacy in the Mediterranean.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
The History of the Communist Party in Cyprus: Colonialism, Class and the Cypriot Left is a finely detailed, innovative and persuasive examination of the Communist Party of Cyprus from its inception in 1926 through to the 1940s. With this book Yiannos Katsorides makes a major contribution to modern Cypriot historiography. He directs our attention away from a well-worn preoccupation with the 'Cyprus Problem' towards broader experiences of political development and social friction in the island's modern growth. In focusing on the evolution of party political culture Katsourides helps to fill a gap in the existing literature. He also implicitly throws light on the roots of the 'institutional deficit' in Cypriot affairs thrown into such high relief by the impact of the contemporary eurozone crisis. The History of the Communist Party in Cyprus will be essential reading for academic historians but also for anybody interested in the special characteristics of Cypriot governance today Professor Robert Holland, Centre for Hellenic Studies, King's College London. Katsourides' book brings the study of Cypriot politics from the back rooms of research on modern political systems to the fore. The book not only provides us with an extremely well-documented analysis of the foundation and the development of AKEL and the socio-political conditions that accompanied it but it also constitutes a contribution to party theory and to methods of party research. Katsourides' book not only enriches the relatively poor literature on Cypriot politics but makes the latter a very good example for the study of communist parties, on the role of parties in nation building, on the importance of striking a balance between subjective capacities and objective conditions as well as the pivotal role of the organisation in the party-society relationship and the political economy of electoral competition. Professor Michalis Spourdalakis, Kapodistrian University, Athens