Date: 1 December 2020
Gulf University for Science and Technology’s (GUST) Global Studies Center (GSC) hosted a virtual discussion as part of its newly launched “GSC Talks Series” on Instagram Live. The first episode’s topic was, “The Lessons of the 2020 Election for the U.S. Electoral Process”. Although previous GSC talks were lectures in auditoriums, the new arrangement is in the form of an online discussion, hosted by GSC Chair, Dr Albaraa Al-Tourah and a guest. The guest for the opening episode is Dr David Rovinsky, Deputy Political Counselor at the US Embassy in Kuwait.
The discussion touched upon a number of important points, what the U.S. Constitution says about elections, and how its weaknesses, magnified through state policy, have led to the problems that were seen in the conduct of the 2020 United States elections. The discussion also shed light on the differences in electoral laws among the American states, the calls to reform or eliminate the Electoral College, and how the system contributes to political polarization. At the end of the discussion, a short Q&A session followed.
Dr. Rovinsky arrived at U.S. Embassy Kuwait in November 2019 as the Deputy Political Counselor and has been in the Foreign Service since 2000. From 2014-2016, he was the Foreign Service Faculty Adviser at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, teaching courses on the history of diplomacy, U.S. foreign policy, and Latin American politics.
Global Studies Center Chair, Dr Albaraa Al-Tourah, said "This talk is an extension of a long-lasting relationship with the Cultural Affairs Department at the US Embassy in Kuwait. It has shed a light on some insightful information about the recent US election in particular and the US election system in general."
Before joining the Foreign Service, Dr. Rovinsky was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Siena College. He has a Ph.D.in political science from The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, a maters' degree in political science from Laval University, and a bachelor's degree in government from St. Lawrence University.
David Rovinsky, Deputy Political Counselor at the US Embassy in Kuwait, said, “In theory, the electoral system of the United States is a work of art. Unlike practically every other modern democracy, there is no national electoral authority. National elections are a collection of local elections carried out under state laws. The system worked well for over two centuries, generating stable and democratically legitimate government. However, the system has been trembling for two decades, and many Americans want to rethink significant parts of the electoral process.”
The GSC, launched jointly with the National University of Singapore in 2015, is a leading research center on global studies, and a vehicle for engaging both internal and external communities through stimulating events and lectures on global issues. The center aims to conduct cutting-edge research on cross-national political, economic, social, cultural, and environmental issues of critical importance, and share research output and information regionally and globally. It also seeks to foster public understanding of global issues with local significance.
With this, GUST continues to build on its mission in becoming a knowledge-hub that benefits and engages students, academics, and the wider Kuwait community as a whole.