Argentine territorial nationalism revisited: The Malvinas/Falklands dispute and geographies of everyday nationalism

Matthew C Benwell, Klaus Dodds

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This paper is concerned with expressions of Argentine territorial nationalism with a specific focus on the Malvinas/Falklands dispute. Billig’s (1995) notion of banal nationalism has been widely applied as a means to understanding the ways in which national identities are learnt and reproduced by the populace, through a multitude of ‘mundane’ representations. More recently Billig’s (1995) thesis has been critiqued (Jones & Merriman, 2009) for its rigidity and inability to take account of the different ways these nationalisms are produced and received (Müller, 2008) within and outside of the nation-state. We build on these interventions by arguing that research into territorial nationalism should not ignore the wider temporal, spatial, political and everyday contexts in which such discourses emerge and are consumed. To illustrate this diversity we contend that territorial nationalism and, more specifically, the attention placed on the Malvinas dispute by the Argentine government has varied in its intensity, depending on wider political events and agendas in the South West Atlantic and Latin American regions. Secondly, through the use of interview extracts from a pilot study conducted with 20 young people in Buenos Aires, we suggest that Argentine territorial nationalism is not received uniformly across the nation-state and, rather, should be explored in its everyday contexts. These contexts take into consideration things like respondent’s geographical location, personal/familial relationships and generation, amongst other variables, in order to more sensitively appreciate Argentine territorial nationalism’s multifarious reception.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-449
Number of pages9
JournalPolitical Geography
Issue number8
Early online date22 Oct 2011
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011


  • Argentina
  • Falklands/Malvinas
  • Territorial nationalism
  • popular geopolitics

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