Sophia Kalantzakos

Global Distinguished Professor, Environmental Studies and Public Policy Affiliation: NYU New York
Education: BA Yale University; MA Columbia University, PhD University of the Peloponnese

Research Websites: eARThumanities Research Initiative The Geopolitics and Ecology of Himalayan Water

Research Areas: global environmental governance, resource competition, energy, China’s belt and road initiative, EU institutions, gender and diversity, cross-border mobility.

Sophia Kalantzakos is Global Distinguished Professor in Environmental Studies and Public Policy at New York University and currently a long-term affiliate at NYU Abu Dhabi. She is the author of China and the Geopolitics of Rare Earths (Oxford University Press, 2018), The EU, US, and China Tackling Climate Change: Policies and Alliances for the Anthropocene (Routledge, 2017) and co-editor with N. Farantouris of Energy and Environmental Transformations in a Globalizing World: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue, Nomiki Vivliothiki, 2015.

Her interdisciplinary research focuses on environmental governance, energy, public policy, and geopolitics, especially resource competition and climate change as threats that are reshaping power politics across the globe. Her work focuses on China and in particular Sino-European relations. Her current project examines how China’s rise, its vision for the Belt and Road Initiative, shifting power relations, and the land and maritime “re-unification” of Eurasia and Africa have already begun to reshape global institutions, norms, and governance structures, opening up a space for greater mobility that goes beyond the trade of goods.

Kalantzakos founded and heads eARThumanities, the Environmental Humanities Research Initiative at NYU Abu Dhabi. In the summer of 2020,  she launched a new project under the eARThumanities entitled: The Geopolitics and Ecology of Himalayan Water to address growing water insecurity for 2.5 billion people as the climate crisis worsens. She has been a Rachel Carson Fellow at LMU Munich in 2015 and 2018 and currently is a member of its Academic Advisory Board and President of the RCC Society of Fellows. 

During the academic year 2019-2020 Kalantzakos was a Fung Global Fellow at the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS).

In AY 2020-2021 she is a Senior Fellow in the Research Institute for the History of Science and Technology at Caltech and the Huntington (RIHST@CH).

Her new project, Discursive Dimensions of China’s “Ecological Civilization,” will explore the language, norms, and cultural values that are shaping notions of China’s “ecological civilization.” In addition, during her time at Caltech and The Huntington, she will be organizing an Institute in the summer of 2021 on critical minerals. 

She is currently finishing a new book, EU and China: Face-off in the Horn of Africa.

Courses Taught