Author(s): Benjamin R. Barber
In the face of the most perilous challenges of our time - climate change, terrorism, poverty, and trafficking of drugs, guns and people - the nations of the world seem paralyzed. The problems are too big, too interdependent, too divisive for the nation-state. Is the nation-state, once democracy's best hope, today democratically dysfunctional? Obsolete? The answer, says Benjamin Barber in this highly provocative and original book, is yes. Cities and the mayors who run them can do and are doing a better job. Barber cites the unique qualities cities worldwide share: pragmatism, civic trust, participation, indifference to borders and sovereignty, and a democratic penchant for networking, creativity, innovation and cooperation. He demonstrates how city mayors, singly and jointly, are responding to transnational problems more effectively than nation-states mired in ideological infighting and sovereign rivalries. Featuring profiles of a dozen mayors around the world - courageous, eccentric, or both at once - If Mayors Ruled the World presents a compelling new vision of governance for the coming century.
Barber makes a persuasive case that the city is democracy's best hope in a globalizing world, and great mayors are already proving that this is so.
"'A provocative look at how cities can and do lead from the front in addressing the most pressing issues of our time.' (Michael R. Bloomberg, 108th Mayor of New York City and founder of Bloomberg LP) 'Barber argues... persuasively, that city governments are closer to their people than national ones and as such are better at winning the trust of citizens.' (Ben Rogers, Financial Times) 'Audacious... ambitious... Barber's book should be required reading.' (Sam Roberts, The New York Times Book Review) 'If you like cities you will love this wide-ranging book that captures the energy, excitement and importance of what is going on in the world's great urban centers.' (Fareed Zakaria, CNN)"
Benjamin R. Barber is senior research scholar at the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, the Graduate Center, the City University of New York. He is also president and founder of the Interdependence Movement and the author of seventeen books, including Jihad vs. McWorld and Strong Democracy. He lives in New York City.