||Ghosts of conflict haunt many societies around the world. In those that remain divided,
sectarian sentiment governs societal norms and structures. Assigning the 'post-conflict'
label to these societies marginalizes the need to actively work towards reconciliation
between opposing communities. It also creates a hierarchical perception of suffering
by dismissing experiences of first-hand and trans-generational trauma. This thesis
aims to challenge the 'post-conflict' label by extending the popular definition of
violence past that of bloodshed to one that encompasses representational forms of
violence. I will explore patterns of representational violence in societies divided
along ethnic lines through the lens of Northern Ireland and Cyprus. These case studies
will be placed side by side to demonstrate the shared patterns that enable sectarian
sentiment to perpetuate and resurface throughout time.
Both Northern Ireland and Cyprus are considered 'post-conflict' on the basis of treating
their most recent eras of violence, the Troubles and the Cyprus Problem respectively,
as isolated historical events. These are not isolated events, but parts of much larger
conflicts driven by centuries-old Irish-British and Greek-Turkish rivalries. In the
first chapter, I will outline legacies of Greek-Turkish and Irish-British tension.
In the second chapter, I will explore the heroic and villainous archetypes that perpetuate
ethno-sectarianism in Northern Ireland and Cyprus. In the third chapter, I will explore
present-day spatial and mental divisions that inhibit interaction between opposing
communities and harden existing ethno-sectarian tensions. The patterns revealed in
Northern Ireland and Cyprus may aid in understanding the social practices of divided
societies around the world.