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If mayors ruled the world: a conversation with Benjamin Barber

By Jonathan Derbyshire  

Cities, thinks the political theorist Benjamin Barber, can save democracy. In his new book “If Mayors Ruled the World: Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities”, Barber argues that only cities are capable of reconnecting “participation, which is local, with power, which is central”. Nation states used to do that, but they have become too large to sustain the kind of “bottom-up citizenship, civil society and voluntary community” which he thinks, following John Dewey, is the essence of democracy. There’s a global dimension to this, too. If nation states are too big…

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