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Public Opinion and Foreign Policy – Does It Matter, and If So, How?

Students within the Associated Colleges of the Midwest joined a conversation with Council experts to explore a foreign policy strategy that addresses Midwestern audiences' priorities.
James N. Druckman
Dina Smeltz
Elizabeth Shackelford
Event Date

About This Event

As the Biden administration champions a “Foreign Policy for the Middle Class,” the Chicago Council opens its Foreign Policy in Practice series by considering how the opinions of Americans outside the diplomatic community factor into foreign policy decision making. Join Senior Fellow Dina Smeltz and Northwestern University’s James Druckman, moderated by Senior Fellow Elizabeth Shackelford, for expert analysis.

About the Event Series

The Associated Colleges of the Midwest are partnering with the Council for a three-part series of programs focusing on foreign policy for a Midwestern audience. In the first panel of this series, experts will discuss the relationship between public opinion and foreign policy in light of President Biden’s focus on a “Foreign Policy for the Middle Class.” It will feature Senior Fellow Dina Smeltz and James N. Druckman and be moderated by Elizabeth Shackelford, Senior Fellow in US foreign policy with the Council’s Lester Crown Center on US Foreign Policy.

Event Schedule

Time Agenda
5:00 pm CDT Introduction and Welcome Remarks
5:05 pm Discussion
5:45 pm Audience Q&A
6:00 pm Careers Q&A
About the Speakers
Payson S. Wild Professor of Political Science, Northwestern University
Professor Druckman researches political preference formation and communication and studies the relationship between citizens' preferences and public policy and how political elites make decisions under varying institutional conditions. Druckman has published more than 100 articles and book chapters in political science, communication, economic, science, and psychology journals.
Vice President, Public Opinion and Foreign Policy
Headshot for Dina Smeltz
Dina Smeltz, a polling expert, has more than 25 years of experience designing and fielding international social and political surveys. Prior to joining the Council to lead its annual survey of American attitudes on US foreign policy, she served in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research at the US State Department's Office of Research from 1992 to 2008.
Headshot for Dina Smeltz
Elizabeth Shackelford
Former Senior Fellow, US Foreign Policy
Council staff Elizabeth Shackelford
Elizabeth Shackelford, a former career diplomat who served the US Mission to Somalia and the US Embassy in South Sudan, focuses on building awareness and understanding of a "restraint" approach to foreign policy, which seeks to limit the use of force to core US security interests and favors diplomatic engagement.
Council staff Elizabeth Shackelford