Reaching Across the Dividing Line: Building a Collective Vision for Peace in Cyprus

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44 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although the conflict on the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus has resisted for decades attempts by third parties to negotiate a political solution, and in spite of communication barriers that until recently made contact between ordinary citizens extremely difficult, a number of initiatives have brought together groups of citizens who have formed interpersonal alliances across the buffer zone that divides the island. This article focuses on one of these citizen groups that met over a nine-month period, examining in detail the phase of the group's work in which participants created a 'collective vision statement' to guide their peacebuilding efforts. The group encountered many difficulties, ranging from internal dissent to outside pressures, but it was able to work through them by employing a structured methodology for dialogue that gave voice to individual contributions and promoted a consensus that reflected the variety of needs and opinions within the group. The vision statement created by the group was instrumental in its future work, in which the group developed and implemented a collaborative action agenda for peacebuilding activities. It is suggested that such vision statements, developed through a consensus process that assists groups in managing their discussions fruitfully, help focus the group toward a common set of goals, while preserving individual views and perspectives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-209
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Peace Research
Volume41
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Safety Research
  • Political Science and International Relations

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