Ep. 32 – Saskia Sassen, Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy

This week we read Saskia Sassen’s Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy, an exploration of the underlying systems of logic that drive displacement, resource extraction and, ultimately, inequality. Sassen discusses the financial tools, strategies and “instruments” by which corporations and nations amass land, wealth and resources, from the securitizing of subprime mortgages leading to the financial crisis, to the extraction of resource from countries whose public sector shrinks in response. Listen as Rachel, B, and John discuss why this read was so refreshing and illuminating for theorists like us, especially as a model for incorporating data and concrete, contemporary examples into critical political/social theory. Why expulsions and not ‘neoliberalism’ or ‘capitalism’, we ask and and attempt to answer. We also lament the sad lack of advice questions and dreams in need of analysis from our listeners, and talk about Hegel party fouls instead. We know this will change in advance of our next episode! Why? Because we trust you.

Thanks to dmf from the Synthetic Zero website for suggesting the Sassen text.  Requests for texts for us to discuss? Dreams for us to interpret? Advice questions for us to answer? Email us at alwaysalreadypodcast AT gmail DOT com. Subscribe on iTunes. Follow us on Twitter. Like our Facebook page. Get the mp3 of the episode here. RSS feed here. This episode’s music by Jordan Cass and by B.

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"Saskia Sassen 2012" by Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design from Moscow, Russia - flickr: Questions & Answers with Saskia Sassen. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Saskia_Sassen_2012.jpg#/media/File:Saskia_Sassen_2012.jpg

“Saskia Sassen 2012” by Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design from Moscow, Russia – flickr: Questions & Answers with Saskia Sassen. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Saskia_Sassen_2012.jpg#/media/File:Saskia_Sassen_2012.jpg

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2 thoughts on “Ep. 32 – Saskia Sassen, Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy

  1. thanks for doing this folks, my sense of the work is that expulsions are along the lines of David Harvey on accumulation by dispossession and Keller Easterling (they gave a talk together recently) on extrastate-craft, if you follow Saskia’s twitter account I think it’s not a leap to say that for her the daily reporting (by press or public) catches the impacts at the level of flesh and blood people, for me the insight offered into the parallels with Latour’s earlier STS/ANT (before he made the unfortunate leap into speculative philosophy/theology) work of starting with actual examples and than perhaps moving to abstractions is vital, I would say that what I wish Saskia had made more explicit is that we should treat any abstractions we invent/manufacture as proto-types (tools showing the marks of their manufacture, to be refashioned or even scrapped to fit new needs/situations.and which will conceal as much as they might make public) and not as arche-types which we have somehow divined. My role-model along such lines is Annemarie Mol author of the insightful and funny book The Body Multiple which anyone doing a dissertation in the world of theory should give a read.

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