prof. dr. Saskia Sassen

Saskia Sassen is the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology and Chair, The Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University. She is the author of several books (translated into over 20 languages) and the recipient of diverse awards and mentions, ranging from multiple doctor honoris causa to named lectures and being selected as one of the top global thinkers on diverse lists. Most recently she was awarded the Principe de Asturias 2013 Prize in the Social Sciences and made a member of the Royal Academy of the Sciences of Netherland. Her new book is Expulsions (Harvard University Press 2014), which has recently come out in over ten translations.

The rise of extractive logics in our economies – Geographies of expulsion

Among the strong emergent patterns marking the current period are a mix of economic and political vectors marked by logics of extraction – from mining to Google and Facebook. The past two decades have seen a sharp growth in the number of people, enterprises, and places expelled from the core social and economic orders of our time. Once expelled, a kind of strange invisibility sets in, no matter how material that which is expelled – whether it is the 30 million people expelled from their homes in the USA over the last decade, or the rapidly expanding stretches of dead land and dead water in our world. This tipping into radical expulsion was enabled by elementary decisions in some cases, but in others by some of our most advanced economic and technical achievements. Saskia Sassen uses the notion of expulsions to go beyond the more familiar notion of growing inequality, and get at some of the more complex pathologies in today’s world. It brings to the fore the fact that forms of knowledge and intelligence we respect and admire are often at the origin of long transaction chains that can end in simple and brutal expulsions.

This lecture is based on:
– Saskia Sassen, Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy (Harvard University Press/Belknap Press, 2014)
– Saskia Sassen, Predatory formations dressed in Wall Street suits and algorithmic math, Science, Technology & Society 22:1 (2017): 6–20, doi 10.1177/0971721816682783
– Saskia Sassen, The global city: Enabling economic intermediation and bearing its costs, City & Community 15:2 (2016): 97-108, 
doi: 10.1111/cico.12175

– Saskia Sassen, Who owns our cities – and why this urban takeover should concern us all, The Guardian [November 24, 2015]


prof. dr. Juan Camilo Cárdenas

Prof. Juan Camilo Cárdenas is professor at the Universidad de los Andes in Colombia. The focus of his work lies with the analysis and design of institutions (rules of the game) that promote cooperation among individuals and the solution of social dilemmas in the most fair, efficient, equitable, democratic and sustainable manner possible. His specific research interests are economic decisions and institutions (prosociality , cooperation, trust), experimental and behavioral economics, environmental economics and natural Resources (communal resources, inequality, incentives , institutions), and applied microeconomics.

Abstract will follow soon


prof. dr. Jane Humphries

Jane Humphries is Professor of Economic History and a Fellow of All Souls College Oxford. Her research interests include labor markets, industrialization, the links between the family and the economy, and the causes and consequences of economic growth and structural change. She has also published extensively on gender, the family and the history of women’s work. Her prize-winning paper on women’s use of common lands in early industrial Britain combines her interest in the management of common resources and the household economy. Her monograph, Childhood and Child Labour in the British Industrial Revolution (CUP 2011), involved a bold and innovative use of working-class memoir, a methodology that she developed further in the BBC4 documentary, ‘The Children Who Built Victorian Britain’, which she co-wrote and presented. She has been editor of the Economic History Review, President of the Economic History Society and Vice-President of the Economic History Association. Currently, she is involved in three different international research projects.

Condescension and the commons: The value and importance of an open countryside

Modern commentators and economic and social historians share a disdain for common rights based on analyses of their value and meaning. Both have been heavily influenced by economic theory. An open countryside, inevitably unregulated, overstocked, and mismanaged, was not merely of little value to users but became in Hardin’s famous phrase ‘a tragedy’. In the British case particularly, disparagement of the commons fitted the elite perspective, which saw the exploitation of common rights as distracting the working class from their proper concentration on wage labor, providing a dangerous taste of independence, and constituting a bone of contention in an otherwise cowed and subdued countryside. Jane’s contribution is to shift our historical standpoint by reassessing the material, social and psychological benefits that working people derived from common resources and their customary uses. Novel sources such as working people’s household budgets, their memoirs and diaries, and traditional songs and sayings provide a more nuanced view of the value of common and customary rights over the countryside. Benefits which have been trivialised were regarded differently by our forefathers and mothers, whose own assessments deserve respect.