New York, April 25 – Dr Barber, Founder of the Global Parliament of Mayors died on April 24th. In his last weeks, he wrote: “ Thank you, dear friends, for your leadership in the Global Parliament of Mayors which I believe stands ready to become a governance organization of great significance that will provide alternatives to nationalist populism and to foolish “America First” or “Russia First” approach to global politics. I know the GPM, under the Chairmanship of Mayor de Lille, is now ready to take giant steps forward and I am very pleased to have that knowledge as I move into the next stage of my care.”
An internationally renowned author, political theorist and intellectual, Dr Barber brought an abiding concern for democracy and citizenship to issues of politics, globalization, culture and education in America and around the world. From his long and prestigious career, he is best known for three of his 18 books: Strong Democracy (1984, 20th anniversary edition, 2004), the international best-seller Jihad vs. McWorld (1995) and If Mayors Ruled the World (2014) which gave birth to the concept of the Global Parliament of Mayors. Before he died, he saw the publication of his last book, Cool Cities: Urban Sovereignty and the Fix for Global Warming.
A man of action as much as theory, he formed the Interdependence Movement, and Interdependence Day, an annual gathering held each year on September 12, the day following 9/11, to seek alternatives to terrorism and the war on terrorism, solutions rooted in cooperation and pooled sovereignty rather than national hegemony and unilateralism.
Dr Barber’s many honours included a knighthood (Palmes Academiques/Chevalier) from the French Government (2001), the Berlin Prize of the American Academy in Berlin (2001) and the John Dewey Award (2003). He was also been awarded Guggenheim, Fulbright, and Social Science Research Fellowships, honorary doctorates from Grinnell College, Monmouth University and Connecticut College, and held the chair of American Civilization at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris.
Dr Barber was a true Renaissance man, and he applied his prodigious talents equally to the worlds of politics and culture. He set out to change the world and succeeded.