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An Eternal Balancing Act: Cyprus, Britain and the Refugee Question in the SBAs

Lookup NU author(s): Dr John Burke


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This article analyses the British approach to the so-called refugee question within the Sovereign Base Areas (SBAs) of Cyprus. By drawing on examples from 1974-1975, 1998, and 2015, this paper will show that it is a policy of detachment that connects and defines the British response to this question in their attempt to successfully overcome the issues of precedent and responsi­bility that are so intertwined with refugee problems. This paper will highlight the importance of what has been termed the detached ideal: contain, manage, and remove. Each step involves balancing pain against gain, action against reaction, and if needed, one side over the other, in the pursuit of the least damaging way of solving this problem. Ultimately, what this paper shows is that in addressing the refugee question on Cyprus, the British government would much rather face criticism outside of its borders rather than issues within them.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Burke JE

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Modern Greek Studies

Year: 2017

Volume: 35

Issue: 2

Pages: 539-563

Print publication date: 01/10/2017

Acceptance date: 19/11/2016

ISSN (print): 0738-1727

ISSN (electronic): 1086-3265

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press