EWI's David Firestein Gives Keynote on the Role of Government

News | March 15, 2012

Speaking at the University of Houston's Master of Public Administration luncheon, EWI's Vice President for Strategic Trust-Building and Track 2 Diplomacy David Firestein strongly affirmed the essential role of government in today's heated political climate. Shannon Buggs of the University of Houston web site covered the event.

What is the proper role of government in citizens’ daily lives?

It’s a question debated frequently these days in the run up to the 2012 Presidential Election. The various answers getting the most media attention, however, rarely include responses emphasizing practicality.

“We are listening to and hearing what is, essentially, a rhetorical war on government and it is the cause of some concern,” said public diplomacy expert David J. Firestein at a Feb. 24 luncheon hosted by the Master of Public Administration program. “What has sunk into the American psyche is that government is bad.”

As the keynote speaker, Firestein said his remarks were intended as non-partisan, but that “the most vociferous criticism of government is coming from Republicans” and “the use of incendiary language about the role of government is mostly one-directional.”

“What we’re seeing is a kind of scapegoating of our government and that’s not good for our country,” said Firestein, a vice president at the EastWest Institute, a global think tank with offices in New York, Brussels and Moscow.

Click here to read the rest of this piece at The University of Houston.