Deep Inside the Global City

Saskia Sassen – January 8, 2018

E-Flux Architecture

The frontier is a space where actors from different worlds have an encounter for which there are no established rules of engagement. Whereas the “historic” frontier was at the edges of empire, today’s frontier is deep inside large, complex, and mixed global cities.

These cities, whether in the Global North or South, have become strategic for the functioning of corporate capital. But they have also become strategic for the disadvantaged, outsiders, discriminated minorities, and those who lack power more widely. The disadvantaged and excluded can gain presence in such cities, presence vis-à-vis power and, even more important, vis-à-vis each other. This mix of conditions signals the possibility of a new type of politics, centered around new types of political actors and spaces. It is no longer simply a matter of having power or not. There are new hybrid bases from which to act; spaces where the powerless can make history, even without becoming empowered.

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