Saskia Sassen

Globalizations, Vol. 8, No. 5, pp. 573–579, October 2011


This article explores key vectors in the uprisings of the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region from an urban perspective. The aim is to open up a larger conceptual field to understand the complex interactions between power and powerlessness as they get shaped in urban space. I argue that the city makes visible the limits of superior military power and, most importantly, that cities enable powerlessness to become complex, not simply elementary. In this complexity lies the possibility of making history and remaking the political. The question of public space is central to giving the powerless rhetorical and operational openings. But that public space needs to be distinguished from the concept of public space in the European tradition. This leads me to the concept of The Global Street.

View the article here: The Global Street: Making the Political