The Elusive Polity: Imagining and Contesting Colonial Authority in Cyprus During the 1930s
Title: The Elusive Polity: Imagining and Contesting Colonial Authority in Cyprus During the 1930s
Author: RAPPAS, Alexis
Citation: Journal of Modern Greek Studies, 2008, 26, 2, 363-397.
ISSN: 0738-1727 (Print); 1086-3265 (Electronic)
In 1931, an uprising of Greek Cypriots proclaiming “Enosis” (political union of Cyprus [with Greece]) swept the island of Cyprus, then a British colony. Rapidly recovering from the initial shock, British authorities seized the opportunity to abolish representative institutions (long considered an impediment to the sound administration of the island) and impose limitations on freedom of expression. Under Governor Sir Richmond Palmer, an era of authoritarian rule began. The broader aim of British rule in the 1930s was to reshape Cyprus as an ideal polity, whose inhabitants would thrive materially and civically; however, the two preconditions for the establishment of such a polity—the neutralization of local politics and the international isolation of the island—would be rendered unattainable owing to the activity of Greek-Cypriot notables who seized the opportunity of a vacancy in the Throne of the Orthodox Archbishop of Cyprus to restructure a political arena with international ramifications.
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