Territory, Authority, Rights: From Medieval to Global Assemblages

Territory, Authority, Rights: From Medieval to Global Assemblages

by Saskia Sassen

ISBN-10: 0691136459

ISBN-13: 9780691136455

Pub. Date: 07/01/2008

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Where does the nation-state end and globalization begin? In Territory, Authority, Rights, one of the world's leading authorities on globalization shows how the national state made today's global era possible. Saskia Sassen argues that even while globalization is best understood as "denationalization," it continues to be shaped, channeled, and enabled by

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Where does the nation-state end and globalization begin? In Territory, Authority, Rights, one of the world's leading authorities on globalization shows how the national state made today's global era possible. Saskia Sassen argues that even while globalization is best understood as "denationalization," it continues to be shaped, channeled, and enabled by institutions and networks originally developed with nations in mind, such as the rule of law and respect for private authority. This process of state making produced some of the capabilities enabling the global era. The difference is that these capabilities have become part of new organizing logics: actors other than nation-states deploy them for new purposes. Sassen builds her case by examining how three components of any society in any age—territory, authority, and rights—have changed in themselves and in their interrelationships across three major historical "assemblages": the medieval, the national, and the global.

The book consists of three parts. The first, "Assembling the National," traces the emergence of territoriality in the Middle Ages and considers monarchical divinity as a precursor to sovereign secular authority. The second part, "Disassembling the National," analyzes economic, legal, technological, and political conditions and projects that are shaping new organizing logics. The third part, "Assemblages of a Global Digital Age," examines particular intersections of the new digital technologies with territory, authority, and rights.

Sweeping in scope, rich in detail, and highly readable, Territory, Authority, Rights is a definitive new statement on globalization that will resonate throughout the social sciences.

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Table of Contents

List of Tables xi

Acknowledgments xiii

Chapter 1: Introduction 1

Historicizing Assemblages of Territory, Authority, and Rights 3

Foundational Transformations in and of Complex Systems 6

Capabilities 7

Tipping Points 9

Organizing Logics 10

Using History to Develop an Analytics of Change 11

Outline of the Book 18

Part One: Assembling the National 25

Chapter 2: Territory, Authority, and Rights in the Framing of the National 31

Deciphering Medieval Territory, Authority, and Rights 32

Territorializing Authority and Rights 41

The Political Economy of Urban Territoriality 53

The Legal Order 61

Political Cultures of Towns 67

Conclusion: Medieval Capabilities and Their Consequences 71

Chapter 3: Assembling National Political Economies Centered on Imperial Geographies 74

The State as the Critical Actor 76

Constructing a World Scale 82

Constructing National Economies Centered on Imperial Geographies 88

Constructing the Legal Persona of a National Bourgeoisie 96

Constructing the Legality of a Disadvantaged Subject 110

The American State: Making a National Sovereign Out of a Confederation 121

Hypernationalism and Imperialism 132

Part Two: Disassembling the National 141

Chapter 4: The Tipping Point: Toward New Organizing Logics 148

Varieties of Internationalism 149

The Tipping Point 157

Why Was Bretton Woods Not the Tipping Point? 158

The United States: Shaping Systemic Capabilities for the Tipping Point 163

Redistributing Power inside the State 168

The Executive's Privatizing of Its Own Power 179

Reconstructing the Public-Private Divide 184

The Variable Articulations of Private and Public Authority 187

The Rise of Markets and the Law in Reshaping the
"Public Interest" 196

Appendix 204

Executive Secrecy and Discretionary Abuses-Bush Administration, 2001-2005 204

Chapter 5: Denationalized State Agendas and Privatized Norm-Making 222

Variable Interpretations of State Power in the Global Economy 224

Denationalized State Agendas 230

Antitrust Policy: From Extraterritoriality to a Global System? 236

International Economic Law: Autonomous from But Inserted in National Law 240

A New Institutional Zone of Privatized Agents 242

The Global Capital Market: Power and Norm-Making 247

Distinguishing Today's Market for Capital 248

Governments and the Global Market for Capital 259

The Partial Disembedding of Specialized State Operations and Nonstate Actors 264

Toward Global Law Systems: Disembedding Law from Its National Encasement 265

Conclusion 269

Appendix 272

Vulture Funds and Sovereign Debt: Examples from Latin America (2004) 272

Chapter 6: Foundational Subjects for Political Membership: Today's Changed Relation to the National State 277

Citizenship and Nationality 281

Debordering and Relocalizing Citizenship 286

Deconstructing Citizenship: A Lens into the Question of Rights 290

The Multiple Interactions between Legality and Recognition 294

Unauthorized Yet Recognized 294

Authorized Yet Unrecognized 296

New Global Classes: Implications for Politics 298

Toward Postnational and Denationalized Citizenship 303

Distinguishing Postnational and Denationalized 305

Toward a Partial Repositioning of Nationality 309

Citizenship in the Global City 314

Conclusion 319

Part Three: Assemblages of a Global Digital Age 323

Chapter 7: Digital Networks, State Authority, and Politics 328

State Authority Confronts Digital Networks 330

Distinguishing Private and Public-Access Digital Space 336

A Politics of Places on Cross-Border Circuits 338

Embedding the Digital 340

Digital/Nondigital Imbrications 344

The Destabilization of Older Hierarchies of Scale 345

Mediating Cultures of Use 347

New Interactions between Capital Fixity and Hypermobility 348

A New Generation of Markets and Instruments 350

Managing Risk in Global Financial Markets 352

The Need for Technical Cultures of Interpretation 355

A Politics of Places on Global Circuits: The Local as Multiscalar 365

Conclusion 375

Chapter 8: Assembling Mixed Spatial and Temporal Orders: Elements for a Theorization 378

Analytic Borderlands: Specificity and Complexity 379

Mixed Spatio-Temporal Assemblages as Types of Territoriality 386

Juxtaposed Temporalities and New Economies 390

Excavating the Temporality of the National 395

Conclusion 397

In Conclusion 399

Chapter 9: Conclusion 401

On Method and Interpretation 404

Territory, Authority, and Rights: National and Global Assemblages 406

From National Borders to Embedded Borderings: Implications for Territorial Authority 415

Toward a Multiplication of Specialized Orders: Assemblages of TAR 420

Bibliography 425

Index 473

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