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The Discursive-Material Knot

Cyprus in Conflict and Community Media Participation

Nico Carpentier

The theoretical framework of the discursive-material knot consists out of a non-hierarchical ontology of the interactions of the discursive and the material, articulating the assemblages that are driven by this ontological setting as restless and contingent, sometimes incessantly changing shapes and sometimes being deeply sedimented. This book acknowledges the importance of discourse studies, in having produced a better understanding of the socio-political role of frameworks of intelligibility, and of materialism theory in highlighting the importance of the agentic role of materials. Still, the combination of the discursive and the material requires our attention in a much more fundamental way; that is where this book’s first platform aims to provide a contribution.

These ontological-theoretical reflections are not produced in a void, but they are put to work in this book, first in platform two, which consists of a discursive-material re-reading of three theoretical fields, dealing with practices that are all highly relevant in contemporary democracies: participation, community media and conflict (transformation). Finally, in the third platform, this book turns its attention to a particular social reality, analyzing the logic of the discursive-material knot in the particular context of the Cyprus Problem. This case study fills a gap by bringing community media and conflict transformation together, through the analysis of the role of the Cyprus Community Media Centre (CCMC), and its webradio MYCYradio, in contributing to the transformation of antagonism into agonism. Deploying a discursive-material analysis to study the participation and agonization (and their articulation) in CCMC/MYCYradio shows the complexity and richness of conflict transformation processes, in combination with the importance of organizations such as CCMC/MYCYradio for the betterment of society.

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Many people have been involved in this research project. Usually the most significant persons are kept to the end, but in this case I want to thank Vaia Doudaki first, as her help has been so indispensable. Also a number of other academics working in Cyprus and/or in Belgium have helped me a lot: Christophoros Christophorou, Tao Papaioannou, Karin Nys, Aysu Arsoy, and Tony Maslic should be mentioned here. The Cyprus University of Technology, and in particular the Department of Communication and Internet Studies has been most hospitable and supportive and I want to thank all my colleagues there, but in particular Stelios Stylianou, Angeliki Gazi, Yiannis Christidis, Yorgos Zotos, Nicolas Tsapatsoulis, Dimitra Milioni, Vasiliki Triga, and Venetia Papa. Also the old and new (PhD) researchers of the Cyprus Community Media Research Programme, Christiana Voniati, Derya Yüksek, Hazal Yolga, Orestis Tringides, and Nicolas Defteras, have helped me with my work on this project.

This project also had a group of people providing more direct support, as mappers, translators, or transcribers. Here I want to thank Christos Petrou, Ani Elmaoğlu, Charalampos Rizopoulos, Erini Avraam, Konstantina Neofytou, and Angeliki Boubouka for their work. A special thank you goes out to Nicolas (I only know his first name), who became our driver when our car broke down on a field trip in the Machairas Mountains. ← xi | xii →

At the very end of this research project, I was fortunate to be able to organize two editions...

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