Communiqués de presse

Media Advisory: Calgary mayor making stop at Brock tomorrow for Congress panel

Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences and Brock University panel considers “What if mayors ruled the world?”

Thursday, May 28, 2014

Big Thinking: “If Mayors ruled the world: Is the City Democracy’s Best Hope?” by Benjamin Barber - 7:45-8:55 a.m.
Immediately followed by a panel discussion - 10:00-11:30 a.m.
All in David S. Howes Theatre, Brock Campus

Tomorrow’s Big Thinking lecture at Congress by American political theorist and author Benjamin Barber, “If Mayors Ruled the World: Is the City Democracy’s Best Hope?” will be followed by a roundtable discussion featuring Calgary’s Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

The session is organized by Livianna Tossuti and chaired by David Siegel, both professors at Brock University in St. Catharines where Congress is taking place this week.

In addition to Mayor Nenshi, the follow-up panel also features Alan Broadbent, chairman and founder of the Maytree foundation; Andrew Sancton, professor of political science at Western University; as well as Benjamin Barber.

The session, “Benjamin Barber’s If Mayors Ruled the World: Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities” takes place from 10 to 11:30 a.m., in the David S. Howes Theatre.

Both events will debate and discuss ideas raised by Barber in his 2013 book, If Mayors Ruled the World: Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities (Yale University Press).

Barber’s book asks the question, “Is the nation state, once democracy’s best hope, today dysfunctional and obsolete?” And his answer is yes. He asserts that cities, and the mayors that run them, offer the best new forces of good governance.

Why cities? They occupy the commanding heights of the global economy. They are home to more than half of the world’s population and they’re growing. They are the primary incubator of the cultural, social and political innovations that shape our planet. And most importantly, they are unburdened with the issues of borders and sovereignty, which hobble the capacity of nation-states to work with one another.

Why mayors? Through research and surveys, Barber demonstrates that regardless of city size or political affiliation, local executives exhibit a non-partisan and pragmatic style of governance that is lacking in national and international halls of power.

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About the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences

Organized by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Congress is the largest interdisciplinary conference in Canada, and one of the largest in the world. Congress brings together 75 academic associations that represent a rich spectrum of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, including literature, history, theatre, film studies, education, music, sociology, geography, social work and many others. For more information, go to

About the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences works to promote the value of research and learning in the humanities and social sciences. From its origins in 1940, its membership now comprises over 80 scholarly associations, 79 institutions and six affiliate organizations, representing 85,000 researchers, educators and students across Canada. For more information about the Federation, visit

About Brock University

Brock University sits on the crest of the Niagara Escarpment in southern Ontario, nestled between two Great Lakes in the heart of Ontario’s grape and wine country. With seven faculties, more than 18,000 students, 12 Canada Research Chairs and nearly 600 professors, Brock is a dynamic centre of research and learning excellence. It buzzes with life, every day welcoming visitors to Ontario’s Niagara Peninsula. Brock, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2014, is one of a handful of universities to be situated in a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.For more information about Brock University, visit

Media inquiries

Nicola Katz
Communications Manager
Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
C: 613-282-3489

Jeffrey Sinibaldi
Media Relations
Brock University
C: 289-407-8157