You can’t force a friendship? An analysis of US/Argentine relations
Political Science and International Affairs
School of Conflict Management, Peacebuilding and Development
This paper builds on the extant literature of friendship in international politics. State friendship is not the same as personal friendship. States do not ‘feel affection’; rather, the affective attachment is part of a given state’s culture and practice of foreign policy. This attachment grows with a mutual history of positive interactions and can be intensified by a so-called defining moment. This article analyzes the failure of friendship to develop between the USA and Argentina, despite the fact that in the 1990s Argentina was desirous of having good relations with the USA. When an economic crisis hit Argentina from 1999 to 2002, the USA offered little assistance and responded with indifference. Argentina has had a long history of hostility toward the USA, and one decade of support cannot obviate the earlier interactions. Argentina’s tacit support of Nazi Germany during World War II provides a negative defining moment that acts as a strong barrier to friendship.
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