Duke University Political Science

    Kristin A. Goss
  • Kristin A. Goss

  • Associate Professor of Public Policy Studies and Political Science
  • Political Science
  • 234 Sanford School Building
  • Campus Box 90245
  • Phone: (919) 613-7331
  • Fax: (919) 681-8288
  • Specialties

    • American Politics
    • Political Institutions
  • Research Description

    Kristin A. Goss came to Duke in 2005 as an assistant professor of public policy studies and political science. Her research focuses on why people do (or don’t) participate in political life and how their participation or non-participation affects public policymaking. At Duke, she is working with Professor Joel Fleishman to expand our understanding of philanthropic foundations’ impact on public policy.

    Goss is the author of Disarmed: The Missing Movement for Gun Control in America (Princeton University Press, 2006). The book is based on her doctoral study, which won the American Political Science Association’s 2003 Harold D. Lasswell Award for the nation’s best dissertation in policy studies.

    Goss has published articles in Social Science Quarterly, Women & Politics, Politics & Gender; Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, and the Fordham Law Review, as well as several book chapters. She is author of Better Together, the report of the Saguaro Seminar: Civic Engagement in America. She is working on a book about how the policy agendas of women’s voluntary associations have changed over the past two centuries and how those changes have affected the politics of important policy issues.

    Before her appointment at Duke, Professor Goss spent three years at Georgetown University, where she taught courses on the U.S. political system, political participation, the media’s role in politics and the politics of the policymaking process. She received a BA degree with high honors from Harvard; an MPP from Duke; and a PhD in political science from Harvard. Her master’s thesis explored the challenges facing voluntary associations seeking to stop the epidemic of gun violence in Washington, D.C., in the 1990s.

    Goss grew up near Denver, where she developed a passion for figure skating and animal welfare. Before entering academe, she was a Washington-based journalist for six years covering non-profit organizations and foundations for The Chronicle of Philanthropy. She has served as a consultant to two government agencies: the U.S. Agency for International Development (San José, Costa Rica, 1995); and the Corporation for National and Community Service (Washington, D.C., 2002-2003). Her earliest political memory is of Watergate, which her parents defined as “a hotel in Washington.”

    Goss splits her time between Durham and Arlington, VA. She also serves as vice president of the League of Women Voters of Arlington.
  • Education

      • PhD,
      • Government,
      • Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.,
      • 2003
      • A.M.,
      • Government,
      • Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.,
      • 1999
      • Master of Public Policy, with faculty award,
      • Duke University, Durham, NC,
      • 1996
      • Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude,
      • History and Literature,
      • Harvard College, Cambridge, Mass.,
      • 1987
  • Selected Publications

    • Publication Description

      The Million Mom March (favoring gun control) and Code Pink: Women for Peace (focusing on foreign policy, especially the War in Iraq) are organizations that have mobilized women as women in an era when other women’s groups struggled to maintain critical mass and turned away from non-gender-specific public issues. This article addresses how these organizations fostered collective consciousness among women, a large and diverse group, while confronting the echoes of backlash against previous mobilization efforts by women. We argue that the March and Code Pink achieved mobilization success by creating hybrid organizations that blended elements of three major collective action frames: maternalism, egalitarianism, and feminine expression. These innovative organizations invented hybrid forms that cut across movements, constituencies, and political institutions. Using surveys, interviews, and content analysis of organizational documents, this article explains how the March and Code Pink met the contemporary challenges facing women’s collective action in similar yet distinct ways. It highlights the role of feminine expression and concerns about the intersectional marginalization of women in resolving the historic tensions between maternalism and egalitarianism. It demonstrates hybridity as a useful analytical lens to understand gendered organizing and other forms of grassroots collective action.

      • K.A. Goss.
      • "Never Surrender? How Women’s Groups Abandoned Their Policy Niche in U.S. Foreign Policy Debates, 1916–2000."
      • Politics & Gender
      • 5
      • .4
      • (December, 2009)
      • :
      • 453-489.
      Publication Description

      From World War I through the 1960s, U.S. women’s organizations regularly trekked to Capitol Hill to influence Congressional foreign policy debates. Yet by the 1990s, these groups had largely disengaged from international affairs. Why? Using an original dataset of women’s group appearances before Congress from 1916-2000, this study documents and explains this puzzling development by exploring the mutually reinforcing linkages among women’s identity, claims to issue ownership, and interest group evolution. In the case at hand, the advent of citizen and economic groups competing with women’s organizations for ownership of foreign policy questions, coupled with the declining legitimacy of gender “difference” arguments and the resurgence of “sameness” arguments, led women’s groups to focus on the dimensions of foreign policy particularly affecting women’s rights and status and to abandon less explicitly gendered foreign policy issues entirely. As multipurpose women’s associations declined in vitality, and feminist groups fueled by newly available philanthropic dollars staked claim to women’s rights-and-status questions, organized womanhood surrendered much of the foreign-policy issue space over which women had long claimed political authority, and women’s groups’ presence on Capitol Hill waned.

      • K.A. Goss.
      • "Foundations of Feminism: How Philanthropic Patrons Shaped Gender Politics."
      • Social Science Quarterly
      • 88
      • .5
      • (December, 2007)
      • :
      • 1174-1191.
      • K.A. Goss, D. Gastwirth, S. Parkash.
      • "Research Service Learning: Making the Academy Relevant Again."
      • Journal of Political Science Education
      • 6
      • .2
      • (2010)
      • .
      • [Pre-Publication Manuscript]
      Publication Description

      For at least 20 years, American universities, political scientists, and college students each have been criticized for holding themselves aloof from public life. This article introduces a pedagogical method – research service-learning (RSL) – and examines whether it can provide a means of integrating scholarly theory with civic practice to enhance student outcomes. In particular, we examine whether a modest dose of RSL in the form of an optional course add-on (the “RSL gateway option”) is associated with higher scores on 12 educational and civic measures. We find that the RSL gateway option did not have effects on some important outcomes – such as intellectual engagement, problem solving, and knowledge retention – but it did appear to open students’ eyes to future opportunities in academic research and nonprofit and public sector work. The RSL add-on also appears to have helped students make the intellectual link between scholarly theory and the challenges facing volunteers and voluntary organizations. We argue that RSL, in its gateway-option formulation, is an administratively feasible pedagogy that can simultaneously help to resolve the relevancy dilemmas facing research universities, political scientists, and students seeking connections between the classroom and public policy.

      This paper grew out of our experience using research service learning as a voluntary component of PPS 114. It is coauthored with two recent Duke grads who worked for the Hart Leadership Program.

      • K.A. Goss and S.L. Shames.
      • "Political Pathways to Child Care Policy: The Role of Gender in Statebuilding."
      • Women and Politics around the World: Comparative History and Survey.
      • ABC-CLIO,
      • 2009.
      • K.A. Goss and Theda Skocpol.
      • "Changing Agendas: The Impact of Feminism on American Politics."
      • Gender and Social Capital.
      • Ed. Brenda O'Neill and Elisabeth Gidengil.
      • New York: Routledge,
      • 2006.
      • R.D. Putnam and K.A. Goss.
      • "Introduction."
      • Democracies in Flux: The Evolution of Social Capital in Contemporary Society.
      • New York: Oxford University Press,
      • 2002.
      • K.A. Goss.
      • "Rethinking the Political Participation Paradigm: The Case of Women & Gun Control."
      • Women & Politics
      • 25
      • .4
      • (2003)
      • :
      • 83-118.
      • K.A. Goss.
      • "Policy, Politics, and Paradox: The Institutional Origins of the Great American Gun War."
      • Fordham Law Review
      • 73
      • .2
      • (2004)
      • :
      • 681-714.
      • K.A. Goss.
      • "Volunteering and the Long Civic Generation."
      • Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly
      • 28
      • .4
      • (December, 1999)
      • :
      • 378-415.
      • K.A. Goss.
      • "Good Policy, Not Stories, Can Reduce Violence."
      • Chronicle Review (Chronicle of Higher Education)
      • (May 4, 2007)
      • .
      • K.A. Goss.
      • ""Keeping Arms Behind Our Backs"."
      • Newark Star-Ledger; Atlanta Journal-Constitution; Des Moines Register; Raleigh News & Observer; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Jackson Clarion-Ledger
      • (October, 2006)
      • .
      • [web]
      • K.A. Goss.
      • "Better Together: Report of the Saguaro Seminar: Civic Engagement in America."
      • Cambridge, Mass.,
      • December, 2000.
  • View All Publications
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