Panel Discussion: The Ethics of Using Fear in Politics

A collaboration with GW’s Graduate School of Political Management and its Paul O'Dwyer Lecture Series for Political Ethics

Exterior of the Elliott School
Photo by Jessica McConnell Burt / The George Washington University.

As part of the continuing celebration of the Enduring Ideals exhibition, GW's Graduate School of Political Management (GSPM) is hosting a panel considering the ideal depicted in Rockwell's painting, Freedom from Fear. While Rockwell suggests that the freedom attending democracy provides people with a sense of security and ensures their right to live without fear, leaders often intentionally use fear to motivate people to take action. But is it ethical for leaders to use fear, and if so,where does one draw the line between motivation and abuse?

Join Matt Dallek, GSPM professor and author of Defenseless Under the Night: The Roosevelt Years and the Origins of Homeland Security, and experts from across corporate, military, and political sectors to discuss how our nation has historically used fear in politics and the myriad ways we see fear intersecting within the fields of communications and advocacy today.

Free, but reservations are required. RSVP online by Friday, April 5. Registration includes complimentary hors d'oeuvres and beverages.

Alumni panelists include:

Ben Fallon, assistant director of the Office of National Intelligence for Legislative Affairs, GSPM '98
Scott McHugh, director, crisis management and security for LyondellBasell Chemical, GSPM '12
Angela Struebing, GSPM adjunct professor and president of CDR Fundraising Group, GSPM '01

Event Timeline

5:30-6:30 PM: Registration & Reception

6:30-7:30 PM: Panel Discussion with Q&A

7:30-8 PM: Post-Panel Networking


The Paul O'Dwyer Lecture & Reception is an endowed event made possible by the generousity of alumnus and donor, Brian O'Dwyer, CCAS '66 and GW LAW '76, in honor of his father, Paul O'Dwyer. This endowed event series provides the GSPM community with lifelong learning focused on civility and ethics in politics.