The Japan Society of Political Economy (JSPE) is pleased to announce the winner of the 2016 JSPE-Routledge Book Prize. The JSPE is an interdisciplinary association devoted to the study, development, and application of political economy to social problems. It has been the largest organization of political economy and heterodox economists in Japan since its foundation in 1959, providing important occasions for developing and debating ideas about capitalism and its dynamics. The book prize is financially supported by Routledge, which is the world's leading academic publisher in the Humanities and Social Sciences. The prize promotes the study of political economy and heterodox economics throughout the world with the aim of challenging the dominant position of orthodox neo-liberal economics among economists and policy-makers. The prize is awarded annually to a living political economist based on his or her "lifetime achievement," as embodied in a distinguished book (or books) which reflects the analytical perspectives represented by the Japan Society of Political Economy.
The 2017 JSPE-Routledge Book Prize winner
The 2017 prize winner is Professor Saskia Sassen (Columbia University) based on her two books, Territory, Authority, Rights from Medieval to Global Assemblages, Princeton University Press, 2006, and Expulsions Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2014.
Saskia Sassen (Professor of Sociology, Columbia University) is highly respected internationally as one of the leading authorities in globalization studies. She has single-authored about a dozen books, many of which have been translated into Japanese. With a focus on Globalization studies, she has drawn on a profound theoretical knowledge of Marxian economics and applied an extensive knowledge and materials on society, history and culture to advanced research into globalization that has broadly covered political economics, urban sociology, and international labor migration theory over a quarter of a century. A major characteristic of her research is the use of a multi-layered approach to perceive the transformative dynamics at the sub-national and local levels that are created when globalization induces not only denationalization but also renationalization.
In one of Sassen’s two award-winning works, Territory, Authority, Rights, she perceives Territory, Authority and Rights (TAR) from the political geography of the European middle ages to the modern digital age in terms of the constituents of the various conditions by which both the national and the global are constructed. By verifying the way in which these assemblages became historically embedded, amidst the process of globalization since the 1980s, she traces the disassembly of nation states that were historically constructed in the West. In particular, she clarifies the “tipping points” and their “organizing logics” that can transfer the assemblage of “capabilities,” such as a system’s formative mechanism, to new purposes, and emphasizes that the interior of complex systems, the fundamental changes to the systems themselves, and the appearance of new forms, depends on the capabilities that were formed and developed to a considerable extent in the preceding era. Through in-depth verification of this nature, the dynamism of the formation and change of the specific elements of TAR that is developed during the process of globalization is revealed to be something that is reassembled by the denationalization of the historically-constructed national within a new, denationalized structure that operates at the global, national and subnational levels. This work is simultaneously a compilation of Sassen’s research up until the early 2000s, and also offers new insights into conventional “theories of the state” that are premised on territorial nationalism and the nation-state.
In her second award-winning work Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy, Sassen further advances her interpretation of dynamism in this sense, and based on the new concept of “expulsions,” attempts to reveal the pathological nature of contemporary global capitalism by uncovering the “sub-surface trends” of “complex modes of expulsions”, which “expanding inequality” and other commonly used phrases fail to fully encompass. Utilizing the unique method of “digging” to expose sub-surface trends that are not necessarily visualized, Sassen demonstrates that diverse and complex “expulsion” and the process thereof creates “plain brutalism” which constitutes the strategic element of the global formation of the global city, and a major feature therein is her identification of the present situation since the 2008 global financial crisis as “the formation of exploitability.” In this sense, this work represents Sassen’s research themes since the 2008 global financial crisis.
As representatives of Sassen’s research, both works can be assessed as eligible for the Routledge International Book Prize of the Japan Society of Political Economy (JSPE).
Tetsuji Kawamura (Chairman of the JSPE)
Contact: Hiroyasu Uemura (The JSPE International Committee)
E-mail:Jspecice2014(at)jspe.gr.jp * Please replace (at) with @.
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