News & Events

THE CITY AS A GLOBAL POLITICAL ACTOR

9 March 2016 , March 9th, 2016 19:00 - 21:30h. University of Antwerpen, Tassiszaal, Hof van Liere; Prinsstraat 13 2000 Antwerpen

"Reflecting on a Possible Global Parliament of Mayors" (Eric Corijn, Cosmopolis, Vrije Universiteit Brussel) "Global Urban Policy Making" (Kevin Ward, Human Geography, University of Manchester)

INTRODUCTORY LECTURE: Reflecting on a Possible Global Parliament of Mayors

Eric Corijn (Cosmopolis, Vrije Universiteit Brussel)

Benjamin Barber develops the idea of a Global Parliament of Mayors in chapter 12 of his book If Mayors Ruled the World. Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities (2013, Yale University Press). We are living in a world of interconnected cities and interdependent citizens. Globalisation is also urbanisation. That objective fact is already represented in many city networks and in the rise of a global civil society. But the only global regulators remain multinational private corporations and international political bodies. Given that the great systemic challenges confronting the world system have an impact on urban agendas, it is a challenge to make cities global political actors.

KEYNOTE LECTURE:  Global Urban Policy Making

Kevin Ward (Human Geography, University of Manchester)

One aspect of Barber’s argument rests on the capacity of cities to liaise and network across borders. Relatively long established formal  inter-urban networks of professionals have been  joined by others in arriving at, and making-up of, policy. Through conferences, documents, knowledge banks, power-points and webinars, this emergent informational infrastructure structures the circulation and the travels of policy-making across a number of areas.  From creativity to economic,

drugs to educational, environmental to transport, urban policies in different spheres have been  rendered mobile. They have been  moved from one location to another, morphing and transforming along the way, as actors of varying geographical reach seek to make up policy through relations with elsewhere. This emphasis on the relational and territorial geographies of global urban policy making is one way of capturing the challenges facing those who lead cities.