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, entrenched, and divisive for the nation state. Is the nation state, once democracy’s best hope, today dysfunctional and obsolete?
The answer, said Benjamin R. Barber in If Mayors Ruled the World: Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities, is yes.
Barber asserted that cities, and the mayors that run them, offer the best new forces of good governance. Why cities? Cities already occupy the commanding heights of the global economy. They are home to more than half of the world’s population, a proportion which will continue to grow. They are the primary incubator of the cultural, social, and political innovations which shape our planet. And most importantly, they are unburdened with the issues of borders and sovereignty which hobble the capacity of nation-states to work with one another.
Global Parliament of Mayors Project
Eileen Haring Woods is the Executive Director for the Global Parliament of Mayors Project, and Interim Chair of the GPM Consultative Committee.
Global Parliament of Mayors Project Planning Session 19 September 2014. Amsterdam
Produced by Eileen Haring Woods in collaboration with the City of Amsterdam and the G4 mayors of the Netherlands.
Inaugural Convening of the GPM, The Hague, September 2016