Paris, June 2015 – While Efus has been striving for years to make the voice of cities heard and to strengthen their capacity for action in response to the great number of issues they are directly confronted with, the idea according to which cities are in many areas the most efficient level of governance is gaining ground.
In this respect, the initiative for the creation of a “Global Parliament of Mayors” launched by Benjamin Barber, an American professor of political science, has been received with great interest by local authorities around the world. Efus, represented by Elizabeth Johnston, attended on 2 March in London the kick-off meeting of the Global Parliament of Mayors, which will be formally constituted in 2016.
A Senior Research Scholar at the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society of the City University of New York, Barber is the author of the much talked If Mayors Ruled the World (Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities). The French version (Et si les maires gouvernaient le monde ? Décadence des États, grandeur des villes) will be published in France on 18 June.
His essay is based on the fact that in most Western countries, citizens trust less and less the national and international institutions but show unflinching trust towards their local representatives and above all their mayors. Benjamin Barber shows that throughout the world, cities share a number of characteristics: pragmatism, citizens’ trust, a network approach, creativity, innovation and cooperation.
An interesting read while we wait for more details on how the future Global Parliament of Mayors will function.
Benjamin Barber – Et si les maires gouvernaient le monde ? Décadence des États, grandeur des villes – Essay – 496 pages – Published by Rue de l’échiquier (original publisher: Yale University Press)