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The Falklands/Malvinas as an Identity Dispute: A Constructivist Analysis of the British and Argentinian Positions


Why is the Falklands/Malvinas case so prominent in the Argentine political narrative? Why is it almost absent in Britain? How can Britain afford to ignore United Nations General Assembly Resolutions calling for negotiations without the risk of being ostracised by the international community? The key to understanding the dispute lies in looking beyond material factors and examining the ideas behind the actions of the two actors involved. The Falklands/Malvinas case can thus be better examined as an identity dispute; a constructivist analysis highlights how the impasse between Britain and Argentina is the result of their different perceptions of the history of the islands, the international legal principles that apply to the case and the role Britain plays in the world system. Such diverging perceptions, in turn, prevent the parties from settling the dispute.
Keywords: Falkland Islands; Islas Malvinas; constructivism; identity