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Saskia Sassen

Prince of Asturias Award for Social Sciences 2013

At its meeting in Oviedo, the Jury for the 2013 Prince of Asturias Award for Social Sciences, made up of Ms Inés Alberdi Alonso, Gonzalo Anes y Álvarez de Castrillón, Marquis of Castrillón, Ms Victoria Camps Cervera, Ms Inés Fernández-Ordóñez Hernández, Mr Severino García Vigón, Mr Mauro Guillén Rodríguez, Ms Carmen Iglesias Cano, Mr Adolfo Menéndez Menéndez, Mr José Manuel Otero Novas, Ms Carmen Pérez Die and Mr Rafael Puyol Antolín, chaired by Aurelio Menéndez Menéndez, Marquis of Ibias, and with Mr Juan Vázquez García acting as secretary, has decided to bestow the 2013 Prince of Asturias Award for Social Sciences on the Dutch sociologist Saskia Sassen for her contribution to urban sociology and to the analysis of the social, economic and political dimensions of globalization.

Saskia Sassen is an internationally renowned sociologist, both from the point of view of her teaching and research activities in Europe and the United States and for the scope and influence of her ideas. Her main fields of study are immigration and the role of major cities in the management of the international economy. One of her greatest scientific contributions was her concept of the ‘global city’, now accepted and employed in all the social sciences.

For Sassen, global cities form networks that concentrate decision-making and new relationships between territory, authority and rights, thereby diminishing the role of borders. They also generate major inequalities and social segregation due, among other reasons, to differences in access to information technology. As an advisor to the United Nations, Sassen has carried out crucial research on sustainable human settlements.

Oviedo, 15th May 2013 

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