Last January 18th, Saskia Sassen, Sociology Professor at the University of Columbia in New York and author of Territory, Authority, Rights (Katz, 2010) gave a talk as part of the Crisis conference series which is being organized by the CCCB and runs until late March. Sassen is the researcher who coined and defined the term “global city” and has dedicated more than thirty years to the study of this and other similar questions.
During the conference, Sassen defended the idea that the current neoliberal system, based on a global financial system, has reversed the process of inclusion of individuals as crucial elements in mass consumption (Keynesian concept from the 40’s) towards the complete opposite: a system which expels the individual, which needs less people because it has discovered ways to generate profits that do not involve the individual. Furthermore, Sassen broadens the definition of “global city” and underlines their false uniformity through a reassessment of a location’s physical economic history and, finally debates the synergies between global governance and national governance through an analysis of sectors of national government who win or lose power depending on their capacity to become involved and serve the current global financial economy. The latter point supports the argument which heralds new population expulsion processes thereby rounding off the debate cycle and outlining certain aspects of the interview we have included here.