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Educational reform in North Cyprus : towards the making of a nation/state?
journal contributionposted on 2009-01-01, 00:00 authored by S Mertkan-Ozunlu, P Thomson
The Turkish Republic of North Cyprus (TRNC) aspires to take its place in Europe and the global ‘knowledge economy’. In order to do so, it needs not only to be politically recognised as legitimate and to develop the kinds of economic and governance structures that signify a functional state, but also to produce a cultural imaginary of itself as a nation. In this paper, we mobilise Appadurai’s theorisation of deterritorialisation, flows and context generation in order to examine the ways in which the implementation of educational reforms inTRNC might contribute to this ambition.We show that the ethnoscape and financescape combine to make education reform difficult, with specific challenges arising from the mixed commitment of the workforce, the capacity of the education bureaucracy to align support with policy mandates, and the ‘fit’ between the policy and local needs. We conclude by suggesting that TRNC faces the dilemma of working with cultural heterogeneity: Appadurai identifies this as a key ideoscape challenge for all nation/states.