I like this article by Joshua Keating in Foreign Policy, which is a quick comparative historical view of the YPF nationalization in Argentina. He notes five steps in the anatomy of a takeover:
1. Choose your moment
2. Build your case
3. Make them an offer they can't refuse
4. Put the boot down
5. Don't get overthrown
Given the stakes involved, the last point deserves more attention. When do governments get overthrown and when do they not? Argentina is less polarized than Venezuela was in the first few years of Hugo Chávez's presidency, and Spain will react differently from the United States. Meanwhile, Iran in 1953 is tightly bound to the Cold War.
Fernández's nationalization of YPF seems like the latest in a series of provocative international gestures, including efforts to reassert control over the Falkland Islands. While she's clearly counting on the political benefits of these bold movements making up for the international backlash, she's entering very dangerous waters.
Dangerous, I suppose, but the backlash is likely to be more economic than political.