Sustainability of Microstates

The Case of North Cyprus

Utah Series in Middle East Studies

This interdisciplinary study discusses the development, economics, and politics of North Cyprus, a divided state since 1960 when sovereignty was surrendered by the British to both Greek and Turkish Cypriots.  Mehmet works to demonstrate that, as a microstate with an area of just 3,442 square kilometers, North Cyprus possesses certain inherent comparative economic advantages in the service sectors that enable it to be sustainable in today's rapidly globalizing and competitive economic world.

Mehmet bases his arguments for the potential sustainability of North Cyprus on the concept of economic rationalism, in which participating parties work to optimize their own self-interest.  In an ethnic conflict like that of North Cyprus, the logic of optimization demands a rational, free, and objective balancing of competing interests to reach an agreed solution.  The economic rationalist approach sharply contrasts with the highly emotional political, historical, cultural, and legal approaches that have thus far dominated the study and discussion of the Cyprus problem, approaches that have largely resulted in a protracted conflict.

While recognizing the negative forces of ethnic tension and the very real possibility of a continued divided Cyprus state, Sustainability of Microstates nevertheless remains hopeful, designed to unleash the forces of convergence that may be deduced from economic rationalism, and unwavering in its conviction of the ultimate sustainability of North Cyprus.

Ozay Mehmet is professor emeritus of international affairs at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, and dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics at Eastern Mediterranean University in North Cyprus. He is the coauthor of Global Governance, Economy and Law and coeditor of Towards a Fair Global Labour Market.

Table of Contents:

List of Tables and Figures



1. Economic Development in North Cyprus since 1974

2. Economic Rationalism and Institution Building

3. A Development Strategy for North Cyprus

4. Can North Cyprus Survive as a Microstate?

5. Modeling Required Investment in North Cyprus

6. The Labor Market: Developing Skills for a Service Economy

7. The Construction Sector in the Post-Referendum Period

Ozay Mehmet, Vedat Yorucu, and Rusen Keles

8. The Turkish Energy Corridor

9. Divergence or Convergence? Toward a Two-State Outcome





Praise and Reviews:

“Dr. Ozay Mehmet has created a masterpiece through analyzing the economic development of Cyprus since the early 1970s; this is a timely and well organized book that fills a major gap.”—Vedat Yorucu, Eastern Mediterranean University