Theodoros Rakopoulos
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On research where a Republic is (re)made
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As selling passports is an exceptional occurrence that bridges state and market, and as the Republic of Cyprus is an exceptional polity with post-conflict and post-colonial scars, it is not obvious what it means to do fieldwork on the golden passports phenomenon and in Cyprus. This chapter explores location work: what it means to research these social sites, i.e. the passport industry and the Republic issuing the passports-for-sale. I show how an anthropology of policy is located at the fissures of state and civil society, at the entry points to statehood that citizenship by investment experts facilitate, arguing how an ethnography analysing a transformative policy should reflect on the status of statehood and should make of the state its locus of analysis. I also unpack the sociocultural richness pertaining to the country and the domain of practice and belief that feeds in the formation of the CIP policy in dynamic ways. I thus present the cultural and economic history of statehood in Cyprus, discussing at length its bicommunal nature, its contested boundaries and the monopoly of the state by Greek Cypriots. I particularly focus on the offshore history of market and state in post-division Cyprus, providing the first anthropological account of this sociohistorical condition to date. In conclusion, I argue that the offshore world developed in Cyprus for decades has encouraged a “global vernacular” among locals – a worldly lexicon that articulates this post-colonial small country to global flows and processes.

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Passport island

The market for EU citizenship in Cyprus


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