Britain and the Dictatorships of Argentina and Chile, 1973-1982

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Praise for Britain and the Dictatorships of Argentina and Chile

“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)

“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)

“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)

“The work is, I believe, unique in undertaking an in-depth examination of the role of the state during this important period for international relations, because no-one to date has undertaken such a holistic and intelligently perceptive approach to examining government policy, bringing in issues of class, economics, the role played by solidarity pressure groups and trade unions and structural factors. … There is so much of value in this book. … A vital contribution to our historical understanding of how the state works.” (Morning Star,  October, 2018)

Table of Contents

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

Buy Britain and the Dictatorships of Argentina and Chile from Palgrave Macmillan

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