Britain and the Dictatorships of Argentina and Chile, 1973-82: Foreign Policy, Corporations and Social Movements

Britain and the Dictatorships of Argentina and Chile, 1973-82: Foreign Policy, Corporations and Social Movements

by Grace Livingstone

Paperback(Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 2018)

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This book explores the links between the British government and the dictatorships of Argentina and Chile, 1973-82, using newly-opened British archives. It gives the most complete picture to date of British arms sales, military visits and diplomatic links with the Argentine and Chilean military regimes before the Falklands war. It also provides new evidence that Britain had strategic and economic interests in the Falkland Islands and was keen to exploit the oil around the Islands. It looks at the impact of private corporations and social movements, such as the Chile Solidarity Campaign and human rights groups, on foreign policy. By analyzing the social background of British diplomats and tracing the informal social networks between government officials and the private sector, it considers the pro-business biases of state officials. It describes how the Foreign Office tried to dissuade the Labour governments of 1974-79 from imposing sanctions on the Pinochet regime in Chile and discusses whether un-elected officials place constraints on politicians aiming to pursue an ‘ethical’ foreign policy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783030086664
Publisher: Springer International Publishing
Publication date: 01/23/2019
Series: Security, Conflict and Cooperation in the Contemporary World
Edition description: Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 2018
Pages: 280
Product dimensions: 5.83(w) x 8.27(h) x 0.02(d)

About the Author

Grace Livingstone is an Affiliated Lecturer at the Centre of Latin American Studies, University of Cambridge, UK, and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute of Latin American Studies, University of London, UK. She holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge. She is also a journalist and has reported for the BBC World Service, the Guardian, the Observer and the Independent. She is the author of Inside Colombia: Drugs, Democracy and War and America’s Backyard: the United States and Latin America from the Monroe Doctrine to the War on Terror.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Making Friends with the Junta.- 2. Chile: 1973 to 1982.- 3. Welcoming Pinochet’s Coup (1973 to 1974).- 4. Ethical Foreign Policy? Labour versus the Foreign Office (1974 to 1979).- 5. Tea with a Dictator: Mrs Thatcher and the General (1979 to 1982).- 6. Chile: Conclusion.- 7. Argentina: From 1976 until the Invasion of the Falkland Islands on 2 April 1982.- 8. Business as Usual: Arming the Junta (1976 to 1979).- 9. Oil, the Islands and the Falklands Lobby (1976 to 1979).- 10. Befriending ‘Common or Garden’ Dictators (1979 to 2 April 1982).- 11. Antarctica, Oil and Leaseback: Britain’s Strategic Interests in the Falklands (1979 2 April 1982).- 12. Conclusion.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“The book is constructed by pioneering research of outstanding quality. It places British foreign policy of the 1970s in a quite new and questionable light.” (David Rock, Emeritus Professor of History, University of California, USA, author of Argentina 1516-1987: From Spanish Colonization to Alfonsin)

“Grace Livingstone provides a brilliantly original analysis of UK-Latin American relations prior to the Falklands conflict. Her investigations into recently released archives yield many important insights into the often murky fields of arms sales, the politics of oil, and violations of human rights. Livingstone also develops original and illuminating theoretical perspectives on her subject. Scholarly, compelling and intellectually sophisticated, this book is outstanding.” (John Dumbrell, Emeritus Professor of Government, Durham University, UK)

“Meticulously researched, well-written and very convincing, this book is an authoritative account of the making of British foreign policy towards the military regimes of Argentina and Chile. It is an indispensable study of how both Conservative and Labour governments tried to balance the competing forces attempting to influence the policy-making process. I cannot recommend it too highly.” (Alan Angell, Emeritus Fellow, St Antony’s College, Oxford, UK)

“In this major new study Grace Livingstone contrasts the way in which British Governments treated the military dictatorships in Chile and Argentina during the 1970s and 1980s, examining the conflicts between ministers and officials, and the role of public opinion. It is an absorbing read which illuminates some dark corners of British foreign policy.” (Andrew Gamble, Professor of Politics, University of Sheffield, UK)

“This is an exhaustive exploration of British National Archives covering Pinochet’s coup in Chile in 1973 and the Argentine coup of 1976 leading to the South Atlantic conflict in 1982. The resulting book provides a detailed analysis of British foreign policy-making towards Chile and Argentina in the Cold War years. The focus is on the diverging and contrasting attitudes of both Labour and Conservative governments when dealing with Chile and Argentina. All in all, this book is a must read for those interested in international relations, in the making of British foreign policy, and in understanding the context that led to the 1982 conflict.” (Celia Szusterman,The Institute for Statecraft, UK)

“Grace Livingstone’s work marks an important contribution to the study of British policy toward Latin America. Examining the informal networks of a wide range of actors, from civil servants and politicians to business leaders and interest groups, it demonstrates how the social class of officials influenced the policymaking process.” (Aaron Donaghy, EU Marie Skłodowska-Curie Global Fellow, Harvard University, USA)

“Grace Livingstone’s meticulous and detailed work to unearth and document the execrable position of the FCO, its desk officers, section heads and embassy staff, is wonderful. This book takes us behind the scenes to see how Foreign Office ambassadors and civil service respond to and seek to mould the policies of governments --nowhere more so than in their response to the 1973 military coup in Chile. Conservatives wanted business as usual, Labour wanted an ethical foreign policy. Human rights campaigners wanted something stronger. Here, in telegrams and briefing memos, you can see how it all played out. Grace Livingstone has added a vital and previously missing component to our understanding of the period.” (Mike Gatehouse, former joint-secretary of the Chile Solidarity Campaign)

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