Saskia Sassen

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Saskia Sassen
Saskia Sassen 2012.jpg
Born (1947-01-05) January 5, 1947 (age 68)
The Hague, Netherlands
Residence New York City
Fields Sociology, Economics
Institutions Columbia University; London School of Economics
Alma mater University of Notre Dame
Thesis Non-dominant ethnic populations as a possible component of the U.S. political economy: the case of Blacks and Chicanos (1974)
Known for Studies of globalization, world cities, and international migration
Spouse Richard Sennett

Saskia Sassen (born January 5, 1947) is a Dutch-American sociologist noted for her analyses of globalization and international human migration. She is Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University and Centennial visiting Professor at the London School of Economics. Sassen coined the term global city.

Family and early life[edit]

Sassen was born in The Hague, Netherlands in 1947. In 1948 Sassen's parents, Willem Sassen and Miep van der Voort, escaped to Argentina and the family lived in Buenos Aires.[1] Her father was a Dutch collaborator with the Nazis, a Nazi journalist and a member of the Waffen-SS. In the 1950s Willem Sassen was close to Adolf Eichmann when both were living in Argentina and she recalls him visiting her childhood home.[2] Saskia Sassen also spent part of her youth in Italy and says she was "brought up in five languages."[3]

She is married to sociologist Richard Sennett. Artist Hilary Koob-Sassen is her son from her first marriage to Daniel Koob.


From 1966, Sassen spent a year each at the Université de Poitiers, France, the Università degli Studi di Roma, and the University of Buenos Aires, for studies in philosophy and political science. From 1969, Sassen studied sociology and economics at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, where she obtained M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in 1971 and 1974, respectively. In addition, she obtained a master's degree in philosophy at the University of Poitiers in 1974.

Academic posts[edit]

After being a post-doctoral fellow at the Center for International Affairs at Harvard University, Sassen held various academic positions in and outside the USA, such as the Ralph Lewis Professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago. She is currently Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University and Centennial Visiting Professor of Political Economy in the Department of Sociology at the London School of Economics.

During the 1980s and 1990s, Sassen emerged as a prolific author in urban sociology. She studied the impacts of globalisation such as economic restructuring, and how the movements of labour and capital influence urban life. She also studied the influence of communication technology on governance. Sassen observed how nation states begin to lose power to control these developments, and she studied increasing general transnationalism, including transnational human migration. She identified and described the phenomenon of the global city. Her 1991 book bearing this title made her a widely quoted author on globalisation. An updated edition of her book was published in 2001. In the early 2000s, Sassen focused on immigration and globalization, with her "denationalization" and "transnationalism" projects (see Bibliography and External Links, below). Her books have been translated into 21 languages.[4]


Authored books[edit]

Global city: New York
  • The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991) 1st ed. ISBN 0-691-07063-6.
  • The Mobility of Labor and Capital. A Study in International Investment and Labor Flow (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988) ISBN 0-521-38672-1.
  • Cities in a world economy (Thousand Oaks, Calif. : Pine Forge Press, 2011) updated 4th ed., original 1994; Series: Sociology for a new century, ISBN 1-4129-3680-2.
  • Losing control? Sovereignty in An Age of Globalization (New York: Columbia University Press, 1996) Series : University seminars — Leonard Hastings Schoff memorial lectures, ISBN 0-231-10608-4.
  • Globalization and its discontents. Essays on the New Mobility of People and Money (New York: New Press, 1998), ISBN 1-56584-518-8.
  • Guests and aliens (New York: New Press, 1999) ISBN 1-56584-608-7.
  • The global city : New York, London, Tokyo (Princeton : Princeton University Press, 2001) updated 2d ed., original 1991; ISBN 0-691-07063-6.
  • Territory, Authority, Rights: From Medieval to Global Assemblages (Princeton: Princeton University Press, May 2006) ISBN 0-691-09538-8. Awards for TAR: Winner of the 2007, Distinguished Book Award, Political Economy of the World-System Section, by ASA; Winner of the 2007 Robert Jervis and Paul Schroeder Best Book Award, International History and Politics section, by APSA
  • Elements for a Sociology of Globalization [or A Sociology of Globalization] (W.W. Norton, 2007) ISBN 0-393-92726-1.
  • Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 2014).

Edited books[edit]

  • Global networks, linked cities, ed. Saskia Sassen (New York : Routledge, 2002) ISBN 0-415-93162-2, ISBN 0-415-93163-0.
  • Digital Formations: IT and New Architectures in the Global Realm, eds. Robert Latham and Saskia Sassen (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005) ISBN 0-691-11986-4, ISBN 0-691-11987-2.
  • "Deciphering the Global: Its Scales, Spaces and Subjects." (New York: Routledge, 2007).

Book chapters[edit]

Saskia Sassen on Subversive Festival
  • "Mediating practices : women with/in cyberspace", in eds. John Armitage and Joanne Roberts, Living with cyberspace : technology & society in the 21st century (London : Athlone ; New York : Continuum, 2002) viii, 203 p., ISBN 0-485-00444-5, ISBN 0-485-00636-7, ISBN 0-8264-6035-6, ISBN 0-8264-6036-4.
  • "Beyond sovereignty: de facto transnationalism in immigration policy", in eds. Friedmann, Jonathan and Randeria, Shalini, Worlds on the move : globalization, migration, and cultural security (London ; New York : Tauris 2004) xix, 372 p., 24 см, Series : Toda institute book series on global peace and policy 6, ISBN 1-86064-951-3.
  • "Electronic markets and activist networks: The weight of social logics in digital formations", in Digital Formations: IT and New Architectures in the Global Realm, eds. Robert Latham and Saskia Sassen (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005) ISBN 0-691-11986-4, ISBN 0-691-11987-2, p. 54-88.
  • "When Places Have Deep Economic Histories", in eds. Goldsmith, Stephen and Elizabeth, Lynne, What We See: Advancing the Observations of Jane Jacobs (Oakland, CA : New Village Press 2010) pp 263 – 275, ISBN 978-0-9815593-1-5.



  • [as Sassen-Koob, Saskia] Non-dominant ethnic populations as a possible component of the U.S. political economy : the case of blacks and Chicanos (Dissertation, Ph.D., University of Notre Dame, 1974).
  • [as Sassen-Koob, Saskia] Social stratification, ethnicity and ideology : Anglos and Chicanos in the United States (Thesis, M.A., University of Notre Dame, 1971).


Honors and awards[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Parry, Marc (December 5, 2014). "Saskia Sassen's Missing Chapter". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 15 September 2015. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Joost Panhuysen (15 January 2004). "Wroeten in de mondiale stad" [Rooting in the global city]. Tu Delta (in Dutch). Technishe Universiteit Delft. Retrieved 30 November 2012. 
  4. ^ Columbia University Profile, retrieved 17 May 2013

External links[edit]