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Title: The threat of decolonisation : Britain, Argentina, and the origins of negotiations over the Falkland Islands, 1964-1968
Author: Gonzalez, Martin Abel
ISNI:       0000 0004 2711 7786
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 2011
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Historical scholarship on the Anglo-Argentine dispute over the Falkland Islands has been overwhelmingly focused on its 18th and 19th century roots and on the immediate causes and development of the 1982 war. The 20th century diplomatic history of the conflict prior to the war has received comparatively little attention. Drawing mainly on British and Argentine sources, this thesis highlights the importance of the neglected 1960s as the decade in which a dormant territorial controversy became reactivated, gaining a place in the multilateral forum of the United Nations Decolonisation Committee and developing into a dynamic set of bilateral negotiations on the question of sovereignty. Contrary to the conventional emphases on Argentine nationalism, British geopolitical interests and the islanders' self-determination, the thesis presents decolonisation itself as the central process that both re-ignited the dispute and made its resolution more difficult. On the one hand, Buenos Aires' reaction to the impact of British decolonisation on its historic claim to the islands and London's gradual acknowledgement of the diplomatic, strategic and economic unviability of its South Atlantic colony definitively eroded the longstanding territorial status quo. This erosion was aided by the material and ideological potency of the Anglo-Argentine relationship and by the British attempt to use peaceful negotiations with Argentina as a model of conflict resolution that could help to tame and educate other claimants, particularly Spain vis-a-vis Gibraltar. On the other hand, Argentine fears about the colonial connotations of any bilateral agreement and Britain's constant concerns over the repercussions of the Falklands question on its remaining and wider colonial agenda inhibited territorial change. The dispute was thus left in a limbo between a broken status quo and a frustrated sovereignty transfer - a situation that paved the road to the 1982 confrontation and to the current bilateral stalemate
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available