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Saskia Sassen is an internationally recognized expert on globalization whose Now available in paperback, Globalization and Its Discontents is a collection of. Essays discuss the effects of globalization on the nation-state, looking at dealings that both strengthen and weaken the national idea, creating a concentration of. Globalization and its Discontents. Saskia Sassen. (). Like. Recommend. Bookmark. Abstract, This article has no associated abstract. (fix it). Keywords, State.

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Essays on the New Mobility of People and Money. New Press, pp. Saskia sassen’s book explores several major but neglected aspects of the forces of globalization. The centrality of liberalized financial lts to increased global interdependence is widely recognized, as is their power to discipline states. Sassen elaborates the theme by pointing to the forces that keep financial and other transnational enterprises located in a few cities.

For example, many globallzation and other global firms are highly specialized and therefore locate close to others that provide interrelated services. The top-of-the-line accounting firm can service its clients at a distance, but the nature of its service depends on proximity to other specialists, from lawyers to programmers. Sassen extensively analyzes migration, including the forces behind recent immigration, and the interaction of this flow of globakization with the superprofitable finance and hi-tech industries.

Berkeley Planning Journal

During the past couple of decades migrants have tended to come from countries in which rich nations have invested or with which they have had other military or colonial involvements. These sassem, legal or undocumented, have commonly entered casual, low-skilled jobs in the U. They are important factors in the increasing polarization of income. Two chapters explore the gender dimension of these trends.


Women predominate in the low value-added services and urban-based manufacturing.

Globalization and Its Discontents – Saskia Sassen – Google Books

The process of high-income “gentrification” has been made possible by the ready supply of low-wage female workers, not only the immigrant woman serving the globalizztion middle-class professional woman but also the shop assistants, waitresses, typists, data processors, machine operators and office cleaners.

Another chapter investigates the growth of the informal economy in developed countries.

The informal economy consists of those activities occurring outside the state’s regulatory framework that mirror comparable activities in the regulated sector. Substantial proportions of Americans use informal home repair people and lawn and garden services, buy from informal sidewalk vendors, and eat some informally grown food.

Given the importance of these informal activities to survival for many people, Sassen argues that it is a mistake to criminalize them. Instead, she recommends zoning certain areas for small low-profit businesses and encouraging these businesses to upgrade through advice, training and the availability of credit. The erosion of the power of national governments as a result of globalization is widely recognized but too passively accepted.

Sassen suggests that because major industries and firms receive such significant benefits from locating together in cities, governments may have a greater capacity to regulate them than has been recognized.


She does not give examples, so it is worth mentioning one which would be of great value: Such a small tax, set at, say, 0. The globwlization imperative for financial firms to cluster in major financial centres would make such a tax easy to administer.

Avoidance could also be discouraged by setting the tax at a penalty rate for countries that did not participate in an international agreement to introduce the levy which is commonly called the Tobin tax, after the original proposer. The revenue would all be collected by the administering governments and could disconrents used for domestic and for cooperative international activities. Disconttents its strengths, this is an uneven book. Two of the chapters were written in the ’80s and have not been updated.

Some other statistics are not up to date. Sassen tends to concentrate on abstract description rather than on analysis of causes. The book is repetitious and offers few operational proposals.

However, Globalization and Its Discontents is sassn not only because it discusses several important but neglected or even concealed issues, but also because it is written with compassion and a concern for equity. Jump to navigation Google Tag Manager. You’ve reached your article limit. Become a Subscriber or Log In.