18 Sassen - P OWER , M OBILITY , AND D IASPORA IN THE G...

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Unformatted text preview: P OWER , M OBILITY , AND D IASPORA IN THE G LOBAL C ITY : A N I NTERVIEW WITH S ASKIA S ASSEN D ALE L EORKE U NIVERSITY OF M ELBOURNE , A USTRALIA Saskia Sassen is widely recognised as one of the leading theorists on globalisation, and is perhaps best known for her comprehensive work on the global city (Sassen, 2001). She has written 12 books that deal with a vast range of issues relating to globalisation, from immigration, state sovereignty, and the movement of people and capital (Sassen, 1988, 1996, 1998, 2000) to digitisation and global networks (Latham & Sassen, 2005; Sassen, 2008a Ch 7 & 8) and most recently cities and urban warfare (Sassen, 2007b, 2008b). While she is regarded for her extensive body of work on globalisation and its implications for place, scale, nations, and individuals, she is most renowned for coining the term global city to describe the ascendance of a new type of cities and regions which serve as the strategic spaces for global capitalism. For Sassen, global cities such as New York, Paris, London, and Tokyo are not only the command centres where much of the global economy is organised, managed, and controlled, but they also embody the local places where the effects of globalisation become most visible and assume concrete, localised forms (2008a). A central thread that runs through Sassens work is her argument that globalisation and the national are not distinct, separate realms but remain firmly embedded in one another. While globalisation has given rise to the global financial market, cross-border activities, digital networks with global span, and international organisations such as the UN and WTO that operate independent of nation-states, these remain materially embedded at the local, national level: the headquarters of financial firms, or the physical infrastructure (servers, cables, computers) which serves as the backbone for the internet (2008a: 340-6). Sassen explores the impact of globalisation at the micro-level, and in particular its consequences for the people living in these cities; from the highly speed workers of legal, accounting, and advertising firms, to the powerless, invisible individuals who live on the fringes, such as migrant and low-wage workers and the homeless or disadvantaged. Most recently, her work has focussed on the potential for digital technologies to overcome some of these ________________________________________________________________________________________________________ To cite this article: Leorke, Dale (2009) Power, Mobility, and Diaspora in the Global City: An Interview with Saskia Sassen, PLATFORM: Journal of Media and Communication Vol.1 (July 2009): 103-108. ISSN: 1836-5132 Online Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.5 Australia licence- 104 - barriers of globalisation by allowing local, immobile individuals previously excluded from the political process to exploit the highly networked spaces of the contemporary city and emerge as a new social force in global politics...
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This note was uploaded on 07/27/2010 for the course ARCH 4040 taught by Professor Mical during the Spring '10 term at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

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18 Sassen - P OWER , M OBILITY , AND D IASPORA IN THE G...

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