Publications and Research

Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date

Spring 5-2011


On 2 April 1982, the Argentinian military had invaded and occupied a series of islands known as the Islas Malvinas, or Falkland Islands.* Subsequently, The United Kingdom had responded with a counter-invasion and occupation in an effort to deny the Argentinian claim of sovereignty over the archipelago. After nearly two months and combat casualties in excess of a thousand soldiers the British military was able to negate the Argentinian success and assert its ownsovereignty over the disputed territories. While the outcome of the dispute is clear, the impetus for its initiation is somewhat murky. This paper will attempt to highlight the various theoretical arguments that claim to explain the origin of the crisis. In order to accomplish this task, several levels of analysis will be explored. Such an approach will look at the individual, group, state, and systemic explanations of the conflict.

* The terms Falkland Islands (the British term) and Islas Malvinas (the Argentinian term) are hereinafter referenced in a combined fashion as the Falklands/Malvinas. The war itself will be referenced in a neutral fashion as the South Atlantic War.



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