Saskia Sassen on Thu, 4 Dec 2008 13:23:48 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> Saskia Sassen: Cities and new wars: after Mumbai

i agree--my starting point, when i try to open a field is: what are we  
trying to name when we use the term: globlaization, citizenship, the  
nationale, etc.
The project i am developing now asks this about terms like "war" and "city."

both  are words deeply embedded in particular, albeit globally  
present, histories. Further, the current instances we have been  
describing here, resist the conventional meanings: so it is easy to  
use terms such as terrorism becasue this is a war that does not fit   
war as in word war 2 (though of course, there were lots of instances  
that fit into today's "terrorism" bit.
Question then is whether  these current situations are anomalous  
(which i think is the easiest way out of a problematic, and I resist  
going that way), or become heuristic (in the sense of producing  
knowledge about  the terms themselves: war and city.


Saskia Sassen
Robert S.Lynd Professor of Sociology
Department of Sociology
Committee on Global Thought
Columbia University
422 Fayerweather Hall
1180 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY  10027
T - 212.854.0790
F - 212.854.2963
E/M -

Quoting t byfield <>:

> Interesting.
> It isn't hard to see how and why it's tempting to hypostatize concepts
> like "war" and "city," but it'd be wise to treat each one skeptically,
> and even more so in relation to each other. And one needn't reach very
> far back in history at all to come up with absolute contrasts. These
> contrasts have many origins: the actual and theorized relationships
> between cities and their surroundings, the need for invading forces to
> establish strongholds close enough to support command and logistics
> needs, the various technical capacities of forces in conflict (of which
> there are, as often as not, many), styles of warfare that are much more
> complex than the simplistic dichotomy of a/symmetrical warfare, efforts
> to manipulate media (regional, global, sympathetic, etc), and so on.

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