The History of the Communist Party in Cyprus

Colonialism, Class and the Cypriot Left

The History of the Communist Party in Cyprus

Cypriot pollitics are among the most contentious in Europe, and frequently attract the attention of the international community. Les mer
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The History of the Communist Party in Cyprus

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.

Contents
Acknowledgments

Introduction

Frame of analysis
The class cleavage and the mobilisation of the popular strata
The organisation of the working class: left parties and class corporations in Europe
Social class and political party
Class consciousness, collective action and the political subject
Book outline

Chapter 1: The Particularities of Cyprus: Late Economic Development and Belated Nation Building

A rural, pre-modern society
British colonialism
The tax system
The peasant issue
Usury
The new social order: new classes in the spotlight
The emergence and composition of the working class
Belated nation-building
The cleavage lines in colonial Cyprus
The quest for enosis and political rivalries
The class cleavage

Chapter 2: Political Institutions and Political Participation

Representative institutions
The Legislative Council
Franchise and mass participation
Mass political participation
Social synthesis of the Legislative Council: oligarchic parliamentarism
Clientelism as a defining feature of Cyprus politics
Incomplete political integration
The limits of colonialism
Democratic deficit
Elections and participation as tools for regime legitimisation

Chapter 3: Political Origins

Lower strata mobilisation schemes
Rural unrest and social banditry
The organisational traditions of craftsmen
Non-class guilds and labour clubs
The Agrarian Party
The Popular Party
Socialist circles
The Cypriot Labour Party

Chapter 4: The Communist Party of Cyprus

The founding congress
Ideological orientation and radicalism
Strategy
Social and political alliances: the policy of the united front
Modes of communist activism
Political programme
Social issue
National issue
Civil rights and liberties
Anti-clericalism

Chapter 5: Organisational Structuring: A Parallel Society

Penetrating society: a "parallel society"
Organising the Turkish minority
Party press
Internal structure
Rank and file and leadership
Members and followers
Leadership
Internationalisation of the CPC: relations with communist centres abroad
Communist activism among the working class. The CPC in the organisation of the Cypriot trade union movement

Chapter 6: Political Integration

State repression
The "crabs" of communism; the reaction of the nationalists
Electoral development and competition
Interpreting the communist vote

Chapter 7: The Years of Illegality and Taking-Off

The riots of October 1931 and CPC reaction
Crisis and reorganisation
Trade union tutelage as a vehicle of expansion and integration
The CPC in the Spanish Civil War
From the CPC to AKEL: an opening to society
The premises of massification

Chapter 8: Conclusion

Carrier of Ideas of Social Change and Radicalisation
Distinct Features of Cyprus' Communism

Bibliography

Cypriot politics are among the most contentious in Europe, and frequently attract the attention of the internati

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