Case #798.0

Beagle Channel Negotiations (C)

Publication Date: January 01, 1988
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This three-part case concerns a territorial dispute between Argentina and Chile involving three small islands in the Beagle Channel at the southern tip of South America. Part A provides background on the 19th century origins of the dispute, and then traces efforts to resolve it by submitting the issue to arbitration in 1972. When the arbitration panel issued its finding in 1977, awarding the islands to Chile, Argentina balked and in 1978 proclaimed the decision null and void. Part B details subsequent unsuccessful attempts to resolve the impasse through a formal negotiation process and mediation. As both countries edged toward military confrontation, Pope John Paul II announced he would send his personal envoy, Cardinal Samor, to mediate the crisis. Part C describes the shuttle diplomacy of Cardinal Samor, which resulted in an agreement on both sides to cease provocations and submit the dispute to papal mediation in Rome.

Learning Objective:
The cases can be used to illustrate a number of basic principles of negotiation and international relations, including the variety of domestic, economic, institutional, and bureaucratic issues that can affect the course of a negotiation.

Other Details

Teaching Plan:
Available with Educator Access
Case Author:
Thomas Princen
Pages (incl. exhibits):
South America, Argentina, Chile