Understandingsociety has this rare video footage of Saskia Sassen, a sociologist at the London School of Economics (LSE) and Columbia University. In her essay “Embeddedness of global markets” (2005) in Knorr-Cetina/Brügger “The sociology of Financial Markets”, Sassen argues the topography of global electronic capital markets is embedded in a global cities interconnected through a global technological infrastructure. There is no fully virtualized market, firm or economic sector. Even finance, the most digitalized, dematerialized and globalized of all economic sectors has a topography that interconnects real and digital space and creates a backbone for global financial trading activities. Even though one might expect new information and communication technologies to eliminate the advantages of agglomeration in physical space, global electronic financial trade is dependent on a mix of resources and talents that is concentrated in a network of interconnected urban financial centers. Moreover, the global financial market, no matter how financialized and electronic, requires specific political regulatory conditions and thus depends on national states to produce an institutional framework that reflects the global market for capital and the various fundamentals it is based upon. The formation of a global financial market is thus hard to imagine without a backbone in offline society and physical space.
In the videos below, we see Saskia Sassen give a lecture on cities as “urban knowledge capital” at the Urban Age India Conference in Mumbai /India in 2007, and her lecture be transferred straight to YouTube, Google and related platforms. Understandingsociety interprets the almost real time online availability of Sassen’s lecture as a
a dramatic illustration of the potential for diffusion and infusion of knowledge that the internet presents to the global world …
… and my guess is we will expect this type of knowledge transfer from social and physical space at an academic conference to the intenet and multiple mobile devices as a regular pattern of information diffusion, and the use of Social Media such as blogging, microblogging, bookmarking and tagging as common practice and universal standard procedures to interconnect invididual and collective bodies of knowledge. It will contribute to the visibility of scientists and their achievements and enable scientists to access academic and professional information on the day it gets published. Yet, I suspect German academia is not the driving force of this development.
Urban Age India: Saskia Sassen, Part 1
Urban Age India: Saskia Sassen, Part 2
Urban Age India: Saskia Sassen, Part 3