Benjamin I. Page
Areas of Expertise & Civic Involvements
Page works on American politics and U.S. foreign policy, specializing in public opinion, democratic policy making, the media, and economic inequality. He is best known for his work (with Robert Y. Shapiro) on the “rationality” of public opinion: the general stability, coherence, and responsiveness to new information of Americans’ collective policy preferences. He is currently studying the political attitudes and behavior of wealthy Americans – the top 1% of U.S. wealth-holders – investigating how they often disagree with average citizens but tend to get their way in policy making. Page’s past civic involvement has been limited, but he is now committed to helping Americans understand the barriers that stand in the way of democratic responsiveness.
Page has contributed occasional OpEds to the Chicago Tribune and made appearances on Chicago NPR, WLS, Wisconsin Public Radio, Washington D.C. radio, a Chinese-American radio network (to discuss his book about Americans’ views of China), WTTW TV (to discuss his Wealthy study and the budget “sequester”), and the like.
Talks and Briefings
Page gives occasional talks to university alumni, bookstore signing groups, policy forums (particularly on U.S. foreign policy) and the like. He briefed the U.S. Department of State on the Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ findings concerning public opinion about Iraq in 2002, emphasizing the public’s desire to act through the UN.