The Falkland Islands, international sporting competition, and evolving (post-Brexit) paradiplomacy

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This article examines the Falkland Islands’ participation in international sport.
Argentinean opposition has frustrated the Falklands’ attempts to join bodies such as the IOC and FIFA, but the Islands themselves are nevertheless participants in the Commonwealth Games, Island Games, and other tournaments. First, this article discusses how sport reflects changes in post-1982 Falklands society. It also examines challenges related to personnel and
logistics. Next, it interrogates why the Falklands participate in tournaments, including asserting “Britishness” and sovereignty. Finally, this article discusses prospects for new facilities, the likelihood of hosting an Island Games, and Pan-American competition. These developments are driven largely by Falkland Islanders themselves. Aside from the purported health and social benefits of sport, in the era of ‘Brexit’ they represent a means through which paradiplomacy is performed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-102
JournalSmall States & Territories
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Apr 2022


  • Commonwealth of Nations
  • British Overseas Territories
  • Commonwealth Games
  • Falkland Islands
  • Island Games


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