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CHAPTER 11. The Global City

Saskia Sassen

Subject Anthropology, Politics

Key-Topics city, globalization

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405161909.2007.00012.x


Globalization and digitization have brought with them an incipient unbundling of the exclusive authority over territory and people we have long associated with the nation-state. The most strategic example of this unbundling is probably the global city, which has emerged as a partly denationalized platform for global capital and for the most diverse mix of people from all over the world. This process brings with it operational and conceptual openings for the participation ofnon-state actors in trans-boundary domains once exclusive to the national state. Among such actors are nongovernmental organizations, first-nation peoples, and anti-globalization activists. But they also include immigrants and refugees who become subjects of adjudication in human-rights decisions and thereby become a type of international legal persona. And they include multinational corporations and global markets which can engage in direct transactions with each other, bypassing many of the strictures of the inter-state system that until recently was the necessary context for their cross-border activities. These diverse non-state actors can gain international visibility as individuals and as organizations, and come out of the invisibility of aggregate membership in a nationstate until recently exclusively represented by the sovereign in the international domain. The large city of today emerges as a strategic ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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