04/09/2014 10:26 am ET Updated Dec 19, 2014

Benjamin Barber: Nation States No Longer Work -- But Cities Do

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The European: Mr. Barber, what is more interesting to you: local elections or the political scramble on the national stage?

Barber: There’s a direct relationship between the two. The current dysfunction of the Washington government highlights the importance of local elections.

The European: How so?

Barber: As nations become increasingly ineffective, gridlocked and dysfunctional, cities are taking their place not just as local problem solvers – which they’ve always been pretty good at – but also as collectives that start to tackle global problems like climate change, that nations are unable to redress on their own.

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