Saskia Sassen
Global cities, climate change, and academic frontiers

Today marks the 3rd anniversary of FreshEd. To celebrate, we are going to air our first ever FreshEd Live event where Saskia Sassen joined me for a conversation about her life and work.

Saskia Sassen is a professor at Columbia University. In 1991, she published the now classic book called The Global City where she chronicled how New York, London, and Tokyo became the centers in the new digital economy. What she focused on was the rise of intermediary services that allowed corporations to operate globally. Instead of seeing place as no longer necessary in the digital economy, she saw certain cities as physical sites that became more important than ever in the global economy.

For Sassen, intermediaries concentrated in certain parts of the city and relied on high-level knowledge, like algorithmic mathematics. In New York City, financial services took over lower Manhattan. This left a peculiar reality for the physical buildings in the city.

As a result, many people who didn’t work in intermediary services were expelled from those parts of the city. And yet, despite this expulsion by intermediaries, new forms of inclusion were created.

Today’s show was recorded at Musashi University during the Third Japanese Political Economy Workshop organized by Nobuharu Yokokawa.

Citation: Sassen, Saskia, interview with Will Brehm, FreshEd, 131, podcast audio, October 22, 2018.