Women's Voice in American Politics

Kristin Goss
Associate Professor of Public Policy and Political Science, Sanford School, Duke University

Historically, U.S. women's groups championed issues ranging from peace and the environment to public education and care for the vulnerable. But advocates have recently narrowed their focus – and fresh steps are needed to amplify women's voice in the public sphere.

Read Goss's brief here to learn about her research covering more than a century of testimony by women's associations before the U.S. Congress. Click here to see the full presentation of Goss's findings in her provocative new book The Paradox of Gender Equality: How American Women's Groups Gained and Lost Their Public Voice (University of Michigan Press, 2012). The book concludes with reflections on how American women's groups can take a stronger role in shaping U.S. public policies in the 21st century.

Goss's first book was the widely acclaimed Disarmed: The Missing Movement for Gun Control in America (Princeton University Press, 2006), where she pointed to changes in the capacities and goals of women's organizations as one of the reasons why a popular movement to regulate guns has not gained strength in the late twentieth-century and early twenty-first century United States.

In the wake of the horrific December 2012 murders of schoolchildren in Newtown, Connecticut, Goss prepared a brief about America's missing popular movement for gun control, drawing on the original facts and arguments in her book updated with data on recent gun rampages in the United States compiled by Mother Jones magazine. Recent OpEds by Goss include "The NRA's Vision of 'Genuine Monsters' in CNN on December 21, 2012; "Rallying for Gun Reform" co-authored with Donna Dees in the Tampa Bay Times on December 21, 2012; and "Harnessing the Power of Parents" also co-authored with Donna Dees in the Raleigh News & Observer, December 20, 2012.

See Kristin Goss's SSN profile to learn more about her civic involvements and publications about social movements and civic groups in U.S. politics and public policymaking.

Kristin Goss is the co-director along with Nicholas Carnes of the Research Triangle SSN regional network.