Karen Litfin (Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, 1992) is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Washington. She specializes in global environmental politics, with core interests in green theory, the science/policy interface, and what she calls “person/planet politics.” Her 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. Her 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 her recently 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.
In her teaching and research, she explores questions of human meaning and values in relation to world politics. She also directs the UW Auroville Program on Sustainability, Community and International Cooperation, which has been bringing students to south India since 2001.