Introduction: Making Friends With the Junta
This introduction considers the constraints on politicians aiming to pursue an ‘ethical’ foreign policy. It proposes that the social class and the informal social networks of state officials should be included in the analysis of foreign policy-making. It argues that the Foreign Office and business leaders shared a common outlook, regarding the Pinochet regime in Chile and the Argentine junta (1976–1983) as beneficial to the interests of British companies and banks. It considers the ways in which social movements, such as human rights groups and the Chile Solidarity Campaign, can influence policy-makers. It argues that social movement theorists have overlooked the pro-business bias of state officials stemming from their informal social links with the private sector. It also considers Britain’s economic and strategic interests in the Falkland Islands.