Saskia Sassen, Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology, was awarded the Prince of Asturias Award in Social Sciences on May 15, 2013. This award, convened by the Prince of Asturias Foundation honors contributions to the encouraging and promoting the scientific, cultural and humanistic values that form part of mankind’s universal heritage, and is given in the Arts, Communication and Humanities, Literature, Sports, Social Sciences, Technical and Scientific Research, International Cooperation and Concord. The jury commended Sassen’s contributions to the study of globalization and urban studies, in particular highlighting her work on the concept of global cities.

The award is conferred by jury by the Prince of Asturias Foundation. This year’s co-finalists in the Social Sciences included Amartya Sen and Paul Romer. Past winners in the Social Sciences include Mary Robinson, Paul Krugman, and Martha Nussbaum. Professor Sassen’s fellow laureate is Michael Haneke, who received the Prince of Asturias Award in the Arts.

Statement from the Jury

May 15, 2013

Oviedo, Spain

At its meeting in Oviedo, the Jury for the 2013 Prince of Asturias Award for Social Sciences, made up of Ms Inés Alberdi Alonso, Gonzalo Anes y Álvarez de Castrillón, Marquis of Castrillón, Ms Victoria Camps Cervera, Ms Inés Fernández-Ordóñez Hernández, Mr Severino García Vigón, Mr Mauro Guillén Rodríguez, Ms Carmen Iglesias Cano, Mr Adolfo Menéndez Menéndez, Mr José Manuel Otero Novas, Ms Carmen Pérez Die and Mr Rafael Puyol Antolín, chaired by Aurelio Menéndez Menéndez, Marquis of Ibias, and with Mr Juan Vázquez García acting as secretary, has decided to bestow the 2013 Prince of Asturias Award for Social Sciences on the Dutch sociologist Saskia Sassen for her contribution to urban sociology and to the analysis of the social, economic and political dimensions of globalization.

Saskia Sassen is an internationally renowned sociologist, both from the point of view of her teaching and research activities in Europe and the United States and for the scope and influence of her ideas. Her main fields of study are immigration and the role of major cities in the management of the international economy. One of her greatest scientific contributions was her concept of the ‘global city’, now accepted and employed in all the social sciences.

For Sassen, global cities form networks that concentrate decision-making and new relationships between territory, authority and rights, thereby diminishing the role of borders. They also generate major inequalities and social segregation due, among other reasons, to differences in access to information technology. As an advisor to the United Nations, Sassen has carried out crucial research on sustainable human settlements.

Click here for the jury statement.

To read more about this award:

AP: Dutch Sociologist Given Spain’s Asturias Prize

El Mundo: Saskia Sassen, Príncipe de Asturias (Spanish)

Euro News: Saskia Sassen scoops Spain’s Asturias award for Social Sciences