"Social Cohesion and Reconciliation" (SCORE) Index 
Executive Report on Cyprus 2015 findings

500 Greek Cypriots and 500 Turkish Cypriots took part in SCORE research (face-to-face interviews with structured questionnaires)

The Social Cohesion and Reconciliation (SCORE) Index is an innovative tool designed to measure the state of peace in multi-ethnic societies around the world. The tool supports policy decision for national and international stakeholders and is particularly suited for post-conflict multi-ethnic societies that now face peace-building and state-building challenges. 

SCORE examines two main components of peace - social cohesion and reconciliation.

Social Cohesion refers to the nature of coexistence between individuals within a social group and the institutions that surround them. Reconciliation refers to on-going efforts to establish peace between groups which were previously engaged in a dispute or conflict. 

 

Greek Cypriots score lower on social cohesion than Turkish Cypriots and this difference is primarily driven by freedom from corruption, civic life satisfaction and representativeness of institutions.  

Turkish Cypriots score higher on all indicators (indicating lower propensity for reconciliation). The greatest discrepancy found between the two communities is in social distance.

*(Negative indicators: The higher you score on these indicators, the lower you score on reconciliation).

 

Making use of the SCORE data 

SCORE Index also explores the impact of Social Cohesion and Reconciliation on Readiness for Political Compromise in Cyprus: 

In Greek Cypriot community, youth is less inclined for political compromise overall. In addition, gender differences were found for vote intentions in a future referendum (women  are less inclined to vote 'Yes' than men). 

In Turkish Cypriot community, left wingers are more inclined to vote 'Yes' in a future referendum. Young Turkish Cypriots are more inclined for political compromise overall.

Certain demographic groups are particularly resistant to political compromise:

In Greek Cypriot community: Females Aged 18-35

In Turkish Cypriot community: Right Wingers

What predicts political compromise with the other community? (1)

The following diagrams illustrate the variables (predictors) that influence readiness for political compromise for each community and the variables associated with these predictors either positively or negatively. 

What predicts political compromise with the other community? (2)

 

A set of stand-alone variables, which do not form part of social cohesion and reconciliation dimensions, have also been included in the above models. Some of them are more closely related to civic life and therefore to social cohesion. These include: information consumption, civic engagement, food security, health security and environment security. Others, which are more closely connected to intergroup relations and therefore to reconciliation, include: the quantity and quality of intergroup contact, and cultural distance. 

Information Consumption: The consumption of usually intangible goods and services relating to information in order to satisfy a need.

Civic Engagement: Individual and collective actions that aim to identify and address issues of public concerns. (e.g.,taking part in political protest, membership of a political party or other organisations).

Food Security: The capability to have access to food (physical and economical) that meets people’s dietary needs and preferences. 

Health Security: Feeling secure about one’s health and being aware that if not, there are ways to obtain care to return to good health. 

Environmental Security: Environmental viability for life support. 

Cultural Distance: The extent to which respondents felt that aspects of their own culture were dissimilar to aspects of the culture of the other ethnic group. 

Intergroup contact: The  amount of interaction a person may have with members of an adversarial group.

 

Other indicators included in the model are the following: 

Executive Functioning: An umbrella term that includes functions such as personal planning, mental flexibility, inhibition, initiation and monitoring of action.

Self Confidence: The belief in oneself and abilities, it describes an internal state made up of what a person think and feel about himself / herself.

Social Skills: The set of abilities which is necessary in order to create and maintain satisfying relationships with others.

Empathy: The ability to place oneself in another’s position in order to understand and/or feel what the other person is experiencing from their perspective. 

Family Cohesion: The emotional bonding that family members have towards one another. 

Social Exclusion: The marginalisation of certain individuals or groups and the failure to provide them with the rights and benefits normally available to a society because of their physical appearance, personal beliefs etc. 

Personal Life Satisfaction: The way a person evaluates his or her life. It is a measure of well-being and assessed in terms of mood, satisfaction with relations with others and with achieved goals, self-concepts, and self-perceived ability to cope with daily life.

Challenges in approaching various segments of the society that oppose political compromise with the other community:

Greek Cypriot Community

Youth:

How to get them involved in the peace process, when they are facing the more immediate problem of unemployment? How to inform them about the other community, when they do not pay attention to media?

People who find the prospect of co-existence threatening: 

How to generate interest in inter-communal contact, while reducing the sense of threat experienced by these people? How to normalize the concept of a ‘wider society’ which would include people both communities? How to find more practical ways to enable good-quality contact, communication and joint activities with members of the other community? 

People who feel that they are not represented by the institutions: 

How to improve institutional transparency and inclusivity, and more specifically a transparent and inclusive peace process? How to foster engagement in the peace process independent of a citizen's specific beliefs regarding a settlement?

People who are experiencing conflict and fragmentation in their own family lives: 

How to help people experiencing personally dramatic circumstances to see beyond their own difficulties and envision a future for their country? How to link development of social skills and empathy with life success both at the personal and at the national level?

Turkish Cypriot Community

Right wing people: 

How to address the right wing narrative that a settlement will undermine community cohesion of Turkish Cypriots? How can religion be used to promote the language of peace?

People who experience Greek Cypriots as belonging to a different culture and society: 

How to overcome the negative stereotype that members of the other community ‘are different people’? How to develop social skills for daily co-existence with Greek Cypriots?

People who feel strongly represented by existing Turkish Cypriot institutions: 

How to see the institutions of a unified Cyprus as entities that will represent their interests even more effectively than the existing Turkish Cypriot institutions?

People with poor problem solving skills: 

How to help citizens, especially the less educated and those experiencing personal difficulties, to take a long and considered view both on personal and on national dilemmas, to see the benefits of a comprehensive settlement?