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This paper investigates the hypothesis that coethnicity is predictive of successful integration. It will look at where there are gaps vis à vis facilitating variables and why such gaps may exist. The case of Cyprus offers an ideal laboratory for studying the extent to which co-ethnicity serves as a pre-condition for successful integration. Greek Cypriot refugees seem to continually resist integration through self-description, social affiliation, and through their persistent preoccupation with return, even as they enjoy full legal, economic, and cultural integration. This paper will explore how and why Greek Cypriot integration is resisted on the discursive level even as it exists in the formal sense. I will argue that problematic assumptions about what integration entails, the significance of co-ethnicity for integration, the impact of the displacement experience, as well as the failure to connect a discussion of solutions to causes of displacement may all underlie the apparent paradox we see in Cyprus and elsewhere.

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Working paper


Refugee Studies Centre

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