The electronic journal, e-International Relations, this week published a new article by Dr Alasdair Pinkerton reflecting on the recent announcement of a sovereignty referendum to be held in the Falkland Islands in 2013. As I point out in the article, this announcement is just the most recent in a series of diplomatic manoeuvrings by the governments of the UK, Argentine and Falkland Islands during this 30th anniversary year of the Falklands Conflict.
UK-Argentine relations at their most fragile since 1982 and the announcement of a referendum is likely to increase diplomatic tensions still further. On one hand a referendum might be viewed, and dismissed, as ‘just another stunt’ in a year that has been marked by diplomatic—and less than diplomatic—stunts, some of which have been written about on this blog (see Celebrity geopolitics? and Olympic Visions). And yet, it should also be read as very clear demonstration of the Falkland Islands Government’s willingness to deploy democratic levers and no shortage of creativity in responding to the escalating rhetoric in the South Atlantic.
But, as the article asks, does the proposed referendum begs more questions than it answers?