Stormy Waters: Britain, the Falkland Islands and UK–Argentine relations

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This article considers Britain's relationship with the Falkland Islands and the wider context of UK–Argentine relations. It does so by considering three main themes. First, the current Argentine government's strategy towards the Falklands (Islas Malvinas) and the manner in which the question of disputed ownership has been tied into wider Latin American relationships designed to unsettle UK and Falkland Islands interests. Second, the debate surrounding the defence of the Falklands is examined for the purpose of considering how this issue, especially sensitive given the 30th anniversary of the 1982 conflict, brings into sharp relief the implications of recent defence and spending reviews. Finally, the article aims to assess and evaluate the manner in which the Falkland Islands community engages with and responds to worsening UK–Argentine relations. It is concluded that UK–Argentine relations are in their worst state since 1982 and that there is little or no prospect of any improvement given the Argentine government's commitment to force the UK into entering sovereignty negotiations. On its side, the UK and the Falkland Islands’ community do not believe that sovereignty is negotiable and would rather consider how more cordial relations could be established in a manner reminiscent of the late 1990s.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)683
Number of pages700
JournalInternational Affairs
Issue number4
Early online date5 Jul 2012
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2012


  • Falkland Islands
  • Argentina
  • UK
  • foreign policy
  • Geopolitics

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