Expulsions: The Fifth Circle of Hell, Saskia Sassen

“In the last two decades there has been a sharp growth in the numbers of people that have been ‘expelled’, numbers far larger than the newly ‘incorporated’ middle classes of countries such as India and China. She uses the term ‘expulsion’ to describe a diversity of conditions: the growing numbers of the abjectly poor, of the displaced in poor countries who are warehoused in formal and informal refugee camps, of the minoritized and persecuted in rich countries who are warehoused in prisons, of workers whose bodies are destroyed on the job and rendered useless at far too young an age, able-bodied surplus populations warehoused in ghettoes and slums. One major trend is the repositioning of what had been framed as sovereign territory, a complex conditions, into land for sale on the global market — land in Sub-Saharan Africa, in Central Asia and in Latin America to be bought by rich investors and rich governments to grow food, to access underground water tables, and to access minerals and metals. Prof Sassen’s argument is that these diverse and many other kindred developments amount to a logic of expulsion, signalling a deeper systemic transformation in advanced capitalism, one documented in bits and pieces but not quite narrated as an overarching dynamic that is taking us into a new phase of global capitalism.”

Lots of good things happening in this talk but just wanted to emphasize her working with explanations (not thick descriptions but something abstracted from) and what work they do both in terms of what they create (and or foreground) and what they leave out if not coverup. This is the kind of application of what was worth learning from post-structuralist/antifoundationalist philosophy that needs to be taken more to heart (and practice) if we are to make any progress in trying to actually change how things get done/organized.

One response to “Expulsions: The Fifth Circle of Hell, Saskia Sassen

  1. Pingback: Saskia Sassen, ‘Expulsions: Complexity and Brutality’ – video of lecture at Durham University | Progressive Geographies·

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