Karen Litfin

Curriculum Vitae






Department of Political Science
University of Washington
Gowen 33, Box 353530
Seattle, Washington 98195-3530

206-685-2146 (fax)

I have been on the faculty of the Department of Political Science at the University of Washington since 1991, and received my Ph.D. in the following year from UCLA. I specialize in global environmental politics, with core interests in green theory, the science/policy interface, and “person/planet politics.” My first book, Ozone Discourses: Science and Politics in International Environmental Cooperation (Columbia University Press, 1994), looks at the discursive framing of science in the ozone treaties. My second book, The Greening of Sovereignty in World Politics (MIT Press, 1998), explores how state sovereignty is being reconfigured as a consequence of global environmental politics.

Some of the topics of my recent publications include: the politics of earth remote sensing; the political implications of Gaia Theory; the relationship between scientific and political authority in the climate change negotiations; the politics of sacrifice in an ecologically full world; and holistic thinking in the global ecovillage movement.

I have traveled to ecovillages on five continents and am currently writing a book on my gleanings from this journey. My working title is Being the Change: Ecovillage Experiments Around the World, and I anticipate publication in 2011 or 2012.

I approach my teaching and research through a person-planet perspective , encouraging my students and readers to explore questions of human meaning and values in relation to global environmental politics. I also direct the UW Auroville Program on Sustainability, Community and International Cooperation, which has been bringing students to an international township in south India since 2001.