The British Public and the Falklands War

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


From the British perspective, the 1982 Falklands war was waged for what the government and public deemed to be a just cause. The military action had a clear and moral intention in defending three core democratic values: the principle of self-determination of people, the rule of law and political freedom. It was conducted as a legitimate defense against deliberate aggression by a dictatorship, who neither exhausted all peaceful alternatives in regard to its claims nor openly declared war. In the end, the British government was thought to have inflicted proportionate damages and costs upon the enemy in regard to the odds at stake. The short “little” Falklands conflict, thus, became very popular among the British. The war memory can be considered as a bipartisan legacy capable of reaching either the right or the left of the political spectrum. It recalls, wittingly or not, a sense of national unity inside the public consciousness; the same unity that contributed in the 1980s to push the country out of troubles. As The Economist observed in 2012, the victorious Falklands war, particularly its emotional impact, “still shapes the politics” and “still inspires pride and nostalgia” in Britain. “Quietly and enduringly, it left its mark” on the country.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMonumental Conflicts. Twentieth Century Wars and the Evolution of Public Memory
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Falklands war
  • War memory


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