“If Mayors Ruled the World”

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(photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

(photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Season 5, Episode 30

This week, Freakonomics Radio expands on an idea from political theorist Benjamin Barber, who wrote If Mayors Ruled the World: Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities. Barber argues that cities are paragons of good governance — compared, at least, to nation-states — and that is largely due to their mayors. Mayors, Barber argues, are can-do people who inevitably cut through the inertia and partisanship that can plague state and federal governments.

Then: what isn’t Boris Johnson? He is, inter alia, a former Mayor of London; a prolific author, journalist and biographer of Winston Churchill; a Member of Parliament currently campaigning for the U.K. to leave the European Union; a potential future Prime Minister himself despite being a “self-styled joke” who occasionally gets stuck on a zip-line; an American by birth (and U.S. passport holder).

To learn more, check out the podcasts from which this hour was drawn: “‘If Mayors Rules the World’” and “The Man Who Would Be Everything.”

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