Saskia Sassen: Haller Distinguished Lectureship Series

Towards Novel Assemblages of Territory, Authority, and Rights

Friday, April 17, 3:00pm, 8417 Sewell Social Science Building

Abstract – We are seeing the formation of new, often highly specialized, assemblages of bits of territory, authority and rights that used to be fully encompassed by the nation-state. These assemblages function as a kind of third space—they are neither national nor global—and often destabilize existing meanings and systems throughout the world scale. As a consequence, today we are seeing the formation of novel critical alignments in today’s global south including globalization, digitization, and the ascendance of human rights and environmental struggles, the unbundling of unitary normative frameworks, and the transnationalizing of identities and experiences of membership.

SASKIA SASSEN is Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology and the Committee on Social Thought at Columbia University. Professor Sassen’s research and writing focuses on globalization (including social, economic and political dimensions), immigration, global cities (including cities and terrorism), the new networked technologies, and changes within the liberal state that result from current transnational conditions. In her research she has focused on the unexpected and the counterintuitive as a way to cut through established “truths.” She is the author of The Mobility of Labor and Capital (Cambridge University Press 1988), The Global City (Princeton University Press 1991; 2nd ed 2002), Territory, Authority, Rights: From Medieval to Global Assemblages (Princeton University Press 2006), and A Sociology of Globalization (Norton 2007). She has just completed for UNESCO a five-year project on sustainable human settlement for which she set up a network of researchers and activists in over 30 countries; it is published as one of the volumes of the Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (Oxford, UK: EOLSS Publishers).