Kristin Goss Headshot

Kristin Goss

Kevin D. Gorter Professor of Public Policy and Political Science, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University

About Kristin

Goss’s research, teaching, and service revolve around the theme of deep engagement by everyday individuals in the policy sphere. Her research focuses on the role of social movements and interest groups in representing less-advantaged groups in important policy debates. Goss serves as president of the League of Women Voters of Arlington, VA. In the past she has consulted for the Corporation for National and Community Service; served in Democratic politics in Somerville, MA; and participated as a Research Fellow in The Saguaro Seminar on Civic Engagement in America, convened at Harvard University.


How to Break America's Logjam on Guns and Gun Violence

  • Kristin Goss

America's Missing Popular Movement for Gun Control

Women’s Voice in American Politics

No Jargon Podcast

In the News

"What’s Next for the Parkland Activists? The Questions One Gun Politics Expert is Asking Now.," Kristin Goss, Interview with James Burnett, The Trace, March 27, 2018.
Kristin Goss quoted by Adrian Morrow, "In the Echoes of the Florida Shooting, Gun Control Advocates Raise Their Voices" The Globe and Mail, February 15, 2018.
Kristin Goss quoted by Elizabeth Haq, "What One Study Tells Us about How Pro-Gun Men React to Mass Shootings" The Trace, January 6, 2018.
Kristin Goss quoted by Jon Schuppe, "Farmworkers to Hollywood: Welcome to the Fight" NBC News, January 1, 2018.
Kristin Goss quoted on philanthropies and public policy by Daniel W. Drezner, "The Tricky Thing about Studying the Politics of Philanthropy" Washington Post , July 26, 2016.
Kristin Goss quoted on the social movement for gun regulation by Leon Neyfakh, "Whatever Happened to Michael Bloomberg’s Anti-Gun Crusade?" Slate, July 5, 2016.
Kristin Goss quoted on possibilities for research on gun ownership and gun violence by Jessica Mendoza, "Can States Separate Politics from Gun Policy? California Aims to Try." The Christian Science Monitor, June 22, 2016.
Kristin Goss quoted on coalition building in the gun control movement by Carter Dougherty, "Orlando Club Shooting May Turn Gay Movement into Political Muscle for Gun Control" Inside Sources, June 21, 2016.
Kristin Goss quoted on state-level gun control policies by Emily Costello, "Another Mass Shooting – What the Experts Say" San Francisco Gate, June 14, 2016.
Guest to discuss women in politics on Duke Ways & Means, Kristin Goss, January 19, 2016.
"Gun Laws are Being Reformed, Just Not on Capitol Hill," Kristin Goss, The Conversation, December 10, 2015.
Kristin Goss quoted on gun control advocates by German Lopez, "Bernie Sanders and Guns, Explained" Vox, October 14, 2015.
"The Best Way to Respect Guns," Kristin Goss (with Philip Cook), CNN, January 23, 2015.
"Two Years after Sandy Hook, the Gun Control Movement Has New Energy," Kristin Goss, The Washington Post, December 16, 2014.
Guest to discuss what universal background checks mean for the national conversation about guns on KUOW Seattle National Public Radio, Kristin Goss, November 5, 2014.
Kristin Goss's research on the gun control debate (with Philip J. Cook) discussed by Jerry Large, "Research Aids the Discussion over Guns," The Seattle Times, October 29, 2014.
"Turn Gun Violence Emotion into Action," Kristin Goss, Room for Debate, New York Times, April 17, 2014.
"In School Rampages, the Weapon Matters," Kristin Goss (with Philip J. Cook), CNN, April 11, 2014.
Kristin Goss's research on how gun control legislation usually fails in Congress discussed by Erin Kelly, "Giffords' Group Works to Gain 5 Votes for Background Checks," USA Today, May 6, 2013.
Kristin Goss's research on the difficulty of passing gun control legislation discussed by John Gramlich, "Even After Newtown, Little Change," CQ Weekly, February 9, 2013.
Kristin Goss's research on the role of politics in gun control discussed by Erik Hesselberg, "Academics Discuss Gun Policy at Wesleyan," Harford Courant, February 6, 2013.
Kristin Goss's research on U.S. gun laws at the state level discussed by Joe Palazzolo, Ashby Jones, and Patrick O'Connor, "Cities' Gun Laws Hit Roadblock," Wall Street Journal, February 5, 2013.
"Why We Need to Talk about Guns," Kristin Goss, The Daily Beast, January 4, 2013.
Guest to discuss the future of gun control in the U.S. on France 24's "Focus", Kristin Goss, January 4, 2013.
"Rallying for Gun Reform," Kristin Goss (with Donna Dees), Tampa Bay Times, December 21, 2012.
"NRA's Vision of 'Genuine Monsters'," Kristin Goss, CNN, December 21, 2012.
"Harnessing the Power of Parents," Kristin Goss (with Donna Dees), Raleigh News & Observer, December 20, 2012.
Kristin Goss's research on the politics of gun control discussed by Halimah Abdullah, "Little to Gain, Lots to Lose for Obama and Romney on Guns,", July 24, 2012.
Guest to discuss the Aurora shootings and gun laws in America on Australian Radio's "Hack", Kristin Goss, July 23, 2012.
Kristin Goss quoted on the absence of a serious national discussion on gun control, "Colorado Shooting Unlikely to Spur Changes in Gun Laws" The Chicago Tribune, July 22, 2012.
Kristin Goss quoted on the politics of gun control, "New Gun-Control Laws are Unlikely" Wall Street Journal, July 20, 2012.
Guest to discuss President Obama’s handling of gun control issues on Connect with Mark Kelley, Kristin Goss, January 26, 2011.
"Supreme Court Taking Aim at the Gun Debate," Kristin Goss, The Star-Ledger, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The News & Observer, June 18, 2010.
"Good Policy, Not Stories, Can Reduce Violence," Kristin Goss, The Chronicle Review , May 4, 2007.
"A Family Affair," Kristin Goss, The Guardian Online, April 18, 2007.
"The Missing Movement for Gun Control," Kristin Goss, Chronicle Review, October 11, 2006.
"Keeping Arms Behind Our Backs," Kristin Goss, The Clarion-Ledger, The Star-Ledger, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The News & Observer , The Des Moines Register, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 11, 2006.
"Picking Up the Pieces: What Bush Needs to Do Now – Restore Faith in Civic Action," Kristin Goss (with Robert D. Putnam), Newsday, December 17, 2000.
"It's About Time: Who Has Time to Enjoy Family Life, Connect with the Community or be an Active Citizen? In this Work-Driven Society, It's Everyone for Themselves," Kristin Goss (with Robert D. Putnam), San Francisco Chronicle, September 24, 2000.
"Giving Gun Control a Shot," Kristin Goss, Interview with Megan Morr, Duke Magazine, March-April 2007.


"Indecision in Action," (with Sierra Smucker), Duke University, 2015.

Investigates the political cohesion of millennial women using nationally representative survey data and qualitative interviews.

"Defying the Odds on Gun Regulation: The Passage of Bipartisan Mental Health Laws across the States." American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 85, no. 3 (2015).
Documents an important exception to the conventional wisdom that politicians just will not tighten gun laws. Evaluates the barriers to enacting firearms regulations (of all sorts) in America. Reviews lawmaking at the nexus of mental health and firearms over the past decade. Provides an overview of the types of laws that have been enacted and the political circumstances that have facilitated their passage.
The Gun Debate: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Philip J. Cook) (Oxford University Press, 2014).
Probes the causes and consequences of gun violence and traces the history of clashing social movements pushing for gun rights and the enactment of legal gun controls.
The Paradox of Gender Equality: How American Women’s Groups Gained and Lost Their Public Voice (University of Michigan Press, 2012).
Traces a century of public policy advocacy by U.S. women’s organizations to show that after women won the right to vote, women’s groups gained clout on the national stage. Mass membership groups with broad agendas allowed women to address many public concerns and speak for the disadvantaged. But women’s organizational presence declined – and “women’s issues” narrowed – after the feminist victories of the 1960s and 1970s.
"Organizing Women "as Women": Hybridity and Grassroots Collective Action in the 21st Century" (with Michael T. Heaney). Perspectives on Politics 8, no. 1 (2010): 27-52.

Addresses how organizations that mobilize women as women, in an era when other women’s groups struggled to maintain critical mass, fostered collective consciousness among women, a large and diverse group, while confronting the echoes of backlash against previous mobilization efforts by women. Argues that groups like the Million Mom March and Code Pink: Women for Peace achieved mobilization success by creating hybrid organizations that blended elements of three major collective action frames: maternalism, egalitarianism, and feminine expression.

"Research Service Learning: Making the Academy Relevant Again" (with David Gastwirth and Seema Parkash). Journal of Political Science Education 6, no. 2 (2010): 117-141.
Describes and evaluates a university-based program that combines community-based service with public policy research. Finds that providing even minimal exposure to such opportunities can whet students’ appetite for engagement in the public sphere.
"Organizing Women as Women: Hybridity and Grassroots Collective Action in the 21st Century" (with Michael T. Heaney). Perspectives on Politics 8, no. 1 (2010): 27-52.
Examines how today’s women’s groups are reinventing gender-based organizing by finding new ways to combine concerns about equality with an ethic of care.
"Civil Society and Civic Engagement: Toward a Multilevel Theory of Policy Feedbacks" Journal of Civil Society 6, no. 2 (2010): 119-143.
Explores how public policies, both laws and regulations, may be constraining or channeling public engagement away from political activities and toward less controversial forms of community service.
Disarmed: The Missing Movement for Gun Control in America (Princeton University Press, 2006, paperback 2009).
Analyzes the strategic failures of gun control advocates, in the context of the overall waning effectiveness of progressive movements.