Saskia Sassen: Towards Novel Assemblages of Territory, Authority, and Rights

The Department of Rural Sociology presents

Saskia Sassen

Friday, April 17th at 3:00pm
8417 Sewell Social Sciences

Sponsored by the Haller Lecture Fund, University Lectures Committee, CALS International Committee, Department of Rural Sociology, Department of Sociology, and International Studies

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, 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 the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology and Member, The Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University ( Her new book is Territory, Authority, Rights: From Medieval to Global Assemblages ( Princeton University Press 2008) and A Sociology of Globalization (Norton 2007). She has now completed for UNESCO a five-year project on sustainable human settlement based on 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 (EOLSS) (Oxford, UK: EOLSS Publishers) []. Her books are translated into nineteen languages. She has written for The Guardian, The New York Times,, Le Monde Diplomatique, the International Herald Tribune, Newsweek International, the Financial Times,, among others.