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About the Author

Karen-LitfinKaren Litfin, Ph.D. is a professor of political science and environmental studies at the University of Washington. She grew up in Pittsburgh and Baltimore, received a B.A. and M.A. from University of Maryland, and then a Ph.D. from UCLA. Karen is a mother, an introspective activist, an avid bicyclist and hiker, and a second-rate gardener. In her research and teaching, Karen takes a “person/planet politics” approach, which entails integrating the intellectual, emotional, practical and contemplative dimensions of sustainability.

Karen’s first two books were Ozone Discourses: Science and Politics in Global Environmental Cooperation (Columbia University Press, 1994) and The Greening of Sovereignty in World Politics (MIT Press, 1998). You can find her scholarly articles on her faculty website. Unlike her earlier writings, Karen’s latest book, Ecovillages: Lessons for Sustainable Community, communicates her person/planet politics approach in language that is at once personal and engaging without sacrificing intellectual clarity and nuance. The book itself is an expression of Karen’s aspiration for wholeness.

Ecovillages traces Karen’s journey to fourteen ecovillages around the world to learn firsthand from those who are taking a “person/planet approach” to their own lives. In this inspiring and insightful book, Karen shares her unique experience of sustainable living through four broad windows—ecology, economics, community, and consciousness—or E2C2.   Her aim was not to be a cheerleader for ecovillages but to truly learn from them, to transform her own life accordingly, and to share her gleanings with ordinary people who want the information about how to transform their lives and the inspiration to actually do so.

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