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THE “ENDURING RIVALRY” BETWEEN GREECE AND TURKEY: CAN ‘DEMOCRATIC PEACE’ BREAK IT? Kemal Kirisçi* The purpose of this paper is not to provide and evaluate the long list of inter-state disputes between Greece and Turkey. Instead, the paper will focus on how it might be possible to break out of this pattern of conflicts and break or undo a rivalry that has endured half a century of relentless efforts at conflict resolution. The first part of the paper will address the causes or rather the processes that make the rivalry so unrelenting. Why is it that Greece and Turkey can not cooperate? The second part of the paper, on the other hand, will explore the possibility of whether the notion of ‘democratic peace’ might be a possible path towards creating an environment conducive to cooperation. The paper will conclude that though techniques such as confidence building measures, inter-governmental dialogues, mediation, etc., are very important they may not succeed in achieving more than conflict reduction or manageme nt. What is really required is a sort of paradigmatic shift allowing a conducive environment for the notion of ‘democratic peace’ to take root.
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Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol.1, No.1, (Spring 2002) 39 Greece and Turkey locked in a ‘prisoner’s dilemma’: ‘Prisoner’s dilemma’ is a game theoric model often used to demonstrate how individuals under certain circumstances fail to take a decision that would ensure the best pay-off for both sides because they simply fail to cooperate. A prevailing sense of mistrust or lack of confidence in the other side leads both individuals to defect rather than cooperate. This occurs even though rational decision making would dictate them to cooperate and be much better off than when they fail to cooperate or defect from cooperation. The classic manifestation of ‘prisoner’s dilemma’ occurs when two criminals are apprehended by the police and are interrogated in isolation from each other. During the interrogation each are given the option of receiving a lighter sentence if they made a confession that would result in the conviction of the other one to a full sentence. Whereas if both criminals remained silent, in other words cooperated with each other, the police would be denied any information that could lead to their conviction and hence both would go free, the best outcome for both. The dynamics of the game as such leads each criminal to confess, in other words to defect, as each on their own fear the other to be cooperating with the police. The fear of the other side leads both sides to opt for a course of action that generates an outcome well short of the best pay-off, that is both going free, that would be dictated by rational decision making.
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This note was uploaded on 02/01/2012 for the course POLS 494 taught by Professor Garymoncrief during the Fall '11 term at Boise State.

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