The lecture by Saskia Sassen is the opening keynote of the 18th annual Bavarian American Academy conference.

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Toward a New Language of Human Rights


Three powerful destructive vectors are coming together in today’s world in ways they never did before. These conditions will bring billions of already poor and exploited people into even worse situations. The strength of human rights is that it is about all human beings. The fear is that the mix of rising destructive forces our world confronts might require much more than respect and support. Those destructive forces include admirable technical and financial developments, and extraordinary forms of knowledge, but driven by extractive logics.

In her lecture, Saskia Sassen will examine this encounter between human rights and a powerful force whose modus operandi is to extract and leave behind dead land, dead water, and destroyed humans.

Saskia Sassen is the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University and a member of its Committee on Global Thought (www.saskiasassen.com). She is the author of several books and the recipient of diverse awards and mentions, ranging from multiple doctor honoris causa to named lectures and being selected for various honors lists.


The lecture is the opening keynote of the 18th annual Bavarian American Academy (BAA) conference The State of Human Rights: Historical Genealogies, Political Controversies, and Cultural Imaginaries.

Organizer: Bavarian American Academy

Kindly supported by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), U.S. Consulate General Munich

(Photo: Saskia Sassen ©Alex MacNoughton)

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