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Title: Constructing national interests : narrating the Falklands crisis
Author: Chou, Shih-Yu
ISNI:       0000 0004 2742 628X
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis solves the puzzle of why Britain fought the Falklands war. It situates the loss of the Falkland Islands colony in a particular historical context in which the constitutive role of ideas can be examined specifically in relation to interests and then demonstrates the striking parallel between the deduction of one proposition to another and the construction of national interests in the midst of the Falklands crisis. Drawing upon Jutta Weldes' Constructing National Interests and Ludwig Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, this thesis argues that after Britain lost possession British interests were then socially and discursively constructed within a narrative of the Falklands crisis. Metaphorically speaking, Britain's narrative was structured into a chain of hypothetical propositions (hereafter a chain argument). A chain argument comprises multiple "if, then" statements that are deductively linked to one another and may construct a contingent representation of national interests. Britain's narrative of the Falklands crisis began with a false premise that the Falkland Islands were a "British sovereign territory". The validity of the conclusion that Britain must repossess the Falklands flowed not from empirical evidence but from the power held by Britain to define the first premise. The metaphor of a chain argument offers a useful way to understand why the definition of the archipelago conferred by the first premise was accepted despite the fact that the definition was constructed in opposition to common sense knowledge. As shown within this thesis it can also examine the logical truths of national interests that arrive at a particular conclusion through pure deduction.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available