Title: State Practices, National Identity and Anti-Immigrantism in Western Democracies
Name: Roxanne Lynn Doty
Year: 1997
Type: Research Grant

This study critically examines the various practices of anti-immigrantism in three Western democracies--the United States, the United Kingdom, and France--within the context of globalization. The study draws upon the works of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, who apply a psychodynamic conceptualization of capitalism and by association, the Westphalian state, as a "desiring machine." The concept of desire is used to examine the ways in which these three countries have responded to immigration from third world countries. Desire can be seen to be working in the tensions between the centrifugal and centripetal tendencies of modern statecraft; between the drive to control the populace from the center and the individualistic liberal ideals that underpin democratic theory and institution building in the West. The study demonstrates how these two tendencies are apparent in contemporary anti-immigrantism and the "new racism," or "neo-racism" that underpins it. The study concludes that immigration is an exemplary site of the manifestation of the desire for order and security in a world where these things are perceived to be under threat. In doing so, it questions conventional conceptualizations of the state and offers a definition of the state as desire.