The Mayoral Impact: First the Cities, then the World

If Mayors Ruled the WorldBoston and New York are entering new eras in their respective histories. Boston’s Mayor Tom Menino is ending his 20-year period in office while Michael Bloomberg is stepping down after serving the city of New York for 12 years. More than ever before, mayoral elections are being closely watched by citizens across the country and around the world. Bill de Blasio’s victory as Bloomberg’s successor made headlines in newspapers across Europe and Latin America as well as the U.S.

But why do non-Americans care about the mayoral elections in New York and other American cities? Because the role of mayor has expanded from city caretaker to global pioneer of change and action. Benjamin R.  Barber, author of If Mayors Ruled the World: Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities, argues that the conversation on effective governance is evolving. The world is suffering from a global democratic crisis; nation-states are failing us. So rather than focus on international relations, cities need to foster intercity relations, to work from the ground up and eventually join forces with other cities to make change possible.

Learn more about Barber’s book and his views on the future of global governance by watching the video below, and read our blog interview with the author, including his 2013 TED Talk.

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