Saskia Sassen

Theory, Culture, and Society, 2010


The essay is framed by the proposition that cities are the frontier spaces for much of what is usually referred to as global governance challenges. It uses the case of asymmetric war to explore the contradictions that arise from this urbanizing – most significantly, the limits of superior military power when war moves to cities and the ways in which this makes powerlessness complex rather than elementary. The core of the paper focuses on Mumbai and Gaza as two sites that help us understand the enormous variability of war once it gets urbanized, and thus the multiplicity of types of asymmetric war. The essay concludes with a discussion about larger patterns we can see through the cases examined here, such as the repositioning of territory, authority and rights.

View the article hereWhen the City Itself Becomes a Technology of War