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Title: State racist governmentality: a Foucaultian discourse theoretical analysis of Finnish immigration policy
Authors: Rajas, Jarmila
Keywords: Foucault
Social Darwinism
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: © Jarmila Rajas
Abstract: The thesis analyses the Finnish immigration apparatus through a Foucaultian governmentality framework and critiques the way immigration has been problematized. The immigration apparatus, ranging from discourses to various administrative regulations and their rationalities, is examined through the Finnish Aliens Act, Schengen visa regulations, and Finnish Immigration Services implementation documentation as well as through the related governmental bills and reports and parliamentary discussions and committee statements between 1999 and 2010. The thesis argues that the governmentality of immigration is a socio-evolutionary governmentality that relies on largely taken-for-granted conceptualisations of how society needs to be governed. The thesis shows that immigration control cannot be understood solely through the discourses of nationalism, liberalism and multiculturalism, but that these discourses themselves need to be understood in the light of a state racist socio-evolutionary constellation of power/knowledge at the heart of liberal governmentality and its naturalism. In the first instance, this claim is supported by a discourse theoretical analysis of the functioning of power/knowledge in immigration-related discourses. Additionally, the claim is supported by contrasting the analysis of discourses and rationalities of governing with an analysis of technologies of governing, i.e. rules and regulations of immigration control. The thesis then questions the governmentality of the immigration apparatus through various epistemological tools of decentring. These tools highlight how a commonsensical truth about immigration and its governing is produced through methods, such as utilising explanations relying on psychologism, historicism, naturalisation, market veridiction and universalism/particularism, which enable a silence and scarcity of meaning around the taken-for-granted modes of knowing immigration and its governing. Finally, this claim about state racist governmentality of immigration is evidenced by a comparison of the contemporary way of problematizing immigration with the way immigration was problematized by early American race hygienic immigration policies. This comparison insists that eugenics and social Darwinism should not be exceptionalised, but that their rationalities of governing should be evaluated in terms of the logic of making live and letting die that they propose. The thesis concludes that unacknowledged and taken-for-granted modes of knowing the world in socio-evolutionary terms and specifically in social Darwinist terms emphasizing social position as a measure of fitness and human worth and entailing an all-inclusive logic of racialisation have an impact on contemporary liberal ways of governing immigration both in general and in Finland in, at the point at which we think how immigration should be governed so that it promotes the health and wealth of the population and defends it from degeneration.
Description: A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.
Sponsor: Loughborough University, PHIR
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/14967
Appears in Collections:PhD Theses (Politics and International Studies)

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