From secrecy to accountability: The politics of exposure in the Belgrano affair

Thomas Eason*, Oliver Daddow, Rory Cormac

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article adds to the intersubjective research into policy failures by analysing the furore that erupted in UK politics over the sinking in May 1982 of the Argentine cruiser General Belgrano during the Falklands War. The article examines the ways in which the Thatcher government initially tried to conceal what had really happened and how, over time, the revelations piled up and the sinking came to be narrated as a serious case of government wrongdoing. To interpret the challenges interested parties in politics and the media faced in holding the government to account, the article develops a new analytical framework for making sense of the ways in which secrecy and acknowledgement interplay in the construction of failure narratives. It argues that elite control over information subtly shapes both the willingness and ability of interested parties to contest official government positions, resulting in a series of theoretical and policy facing conclusions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)542-560
JournalBritish Journal of Politics and International Relations
Issue number3
Early online date15 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2020


Dive into the research topics of 'From secrecy to accountability: The politics of exposure in the Belgrano affair'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this