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Benjamin R. Barber (b. August 2, 1939) is the Gershon and Carol Kekst Professor of Civil Society and Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, as well as president and director of the international NGO CivWorld, and its annual Interdependence Day event, and distinguished senior fellow at Demos. Barber is perhaps best known for his 1996 bestseller, Jihad vs. McWorld. As a political theorist, Barber argues for a renewed focus on civil society and involved citizenship as tools for building effective democracy, particularly in the post-Cold War world. Benjamin Barber has been a Senior Fellow at the USC Center on Public Diplomacy since 2005.
Barber was educated at Grinnell College (B.A., 1960) and Harvard University (M.A., 1963; Ph.D., 1966), after earning certificates at Albert Schweitzer College (1959) and the London School of Economics (1957). He has served as an advisor to various politicians in the United States and around the world, including Bill Clinton and Howard Dean. Dean made Barber his foreign policy advisor in his failed 2004 campaign. Source.
He has also moonlighted as a playwright, novelist and songwriter, with modest success.
- Superman and Common Men: Freedom, Anarchy and the Revolution (1971)
- The Death of Communal Liberty: A History of Freedom in a Swiss Mountain Canton (1974)
- Liberating Feminism (1976)
- Marriage Voices (1981 novel)
- Strong Democracy: Participatory Politics for a New Age (1984)
- The Conquest of Politics: Liberal Philosophy in Democratic Times (1988)
- An Aristocracy of Everyone: The Politics Of Education and the Future of America (1992)
- Jihad vs. McWorld: How Globalism and Tribalism Are Reshaping the World (1996)
- A Place for Us: How to Make Society Civil and Democracy Strong (1998)
- A Passion for Democracy: American Essays (2000)
- The Truth of Power: Intellectual Affairs in the Clinton White House (2001)
- Fear's Empire: War, Terrorism, and Democracy in an Age of Interdependence (2003)
- Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole (2007)
Barber's honors include a knighthood (Palmes Academiques/Chevalier) from the French Government (2001), the Berlin Prize of the American Academy of Berlin (2001) and the John Dewey Award (2003). He has also been awarded Guggenheim, Fulbright, and Social Science Research Fellowships, honorary doctorates from Grinnell College, Monmouth University and Connecticut College, and has held the chair of American Civilization at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes in Paris.
- Official website
- Benjamin Barber discusses, Fear's Empire, at the Carnegie Council
- Barber discusses his new book, Consumed: How markets corrupt.... Audio on Media Matters April 15, 2007 UIUC.EDU
- Interdependence Day
- STRONGDEMOCRACY the Barber Blog