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Peter K. Enns

Associate Professor

White Hall, Room 205



Peter K. Enns is Associate Professor in the Department of Government and Executive Director of the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at Cornell University. He is also team leader of the Institute for Social Science theme project on the Causes, Consequences, and Future of Mass Incarceration in the United States. 

His research focuses on public opinion, representation, mass incarceration, and inequality. Peter also teaches courses on quantitative research methods. His recent book, Incarceration Nation, (Cambridge University Press) explains why the public became more punitive in the 1960s, 70s, 80, and 90s, and how this increasing punitiveness led to the rise of mass incarceration in the United States.


Personal Website


  • American Studies Program
  • Government

Graduate Fields

  • Government


His research and teaching interests focus on public opinion, representation, and quantitative research methods. In particular, he is interested in whose policy preferences change, why, and whether government responds to these changes.