How and why do everyday Americans get involved in public life? Whose voices are heard – and whose are not? Why does political engagement matter? I examine these questions by looking at topical reform movements (e.g., for gun violence prevention); at pivotal social groups (e.g., women); and at key support structures (e.g., policy-minded donors).

What’s new? Are Foundations Part of ‘The Resistance’? (with Jeff Berry), HistPhil, May 26, 2017; In an Anti-Elite Age, Policy Plutocrats Remaking Society (LSE blog, April 1, 2017); PS Symposium on Philanthropy & Political Science, July 2016 + reactions from Inside Philanthropy & the Washington Post MonkeyCage blog. Working Group on Philanthropy, Policy, and Power, a new group of more than 60 scholars (email me to join).



I teach American politics courses at Duke in the fall semester and run the Duke in DC “semester away” program for undergraduates in the spring. My courses cover the politics of the policymaking process; democratic participation and inequality; philanthropy and public policy; and practical applications of policy theories. My courses typically ask students to produce research for a “real world” organization. I also advise student theses at the undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral levels. I’m their teacher, but more so, they are mine.


Academics are privileged in so many ways, and with that privilege comes the responsibility to engage with policymakers, journalists, civic groups, and private citizens. Toward that end, Kristin Goss regularly gives public talks, speaks with the media, leads civic projects in her community, brings practitioners into her classroom, and supports student work on “real world” dilemmas. Professor Goss is an active member of the Scholars Strategy Network and the League of Women Voters.

Books by Kristin Goss

Gun Debate