Stasis and the State: The Role of Nomadic Forces in the Thought of Deleuze and Guattari and the Formation of Iranian National Identity

Kaveh Abbasian, Edward Thornton


In this paper we explore the genesis of the nation state and of national identity. In order to do this we first introduce the theory of state formation put forward by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari (Deleuze & Guattari, 1980/2004). This theory explains the ways in which the tension between nomadic and sedentary peoples leads to both the formation of state boundaries and their continual contestation. After introducing this theory, we examine the case of Iranian national identity and the genesis of the modern Iranian nation state. In our analysis we consider the role of nomadic tribes in modern Iranian history, especially during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, and their involvement in the subsequent formation of national boundaries. The aim of this paper is to consider Deleuze and Guattari’s theory alongside the case study of modern Iranian history in order to critically assess the general form of national state power.


Nation State, National Identity, Deleuze & Guattari, Iran, Nomad

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