Kathleen McAfee

Membership:  2014

Member Bio

Kathleen McAfee received a doctorate in geography from the University of California, Berkeley, after a career in international development, including 10 years as a policy analyst for Oxfam. As Associate Professor of International Relations at the San Francisco State University (SFSU,) she teaches courses and advises students in international political economy (undergraduate and postgraduate); globalization and development (undergraduate and postgraduate); global food and hunger; and global environmental policy (postgraduate). Before coming to SFSU, Kathleen taught at Yale University and then held the Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Sustainability in 2005-06. She has been a consultant to United Nations agencies and maintains ties with research centers, and NGOs, and activist social movements in different world regions. Her current research focuses on "selling nature to save it": payment for ecosystem services, carbon markets, and alternative approaches that link climate change, conservation, and development. She has authored a book, Storm Signals: Structural Adjustment and Development Alternatives, and many magazine and journal articles about environment, hunger, agriculture, biotechnology trade, debt, and social justice. Her main field-research regions outside the United States are in Latin America, especially Mexico and the Caribbean.


  • "The Post- and Future Politics of Green Economy and REDD." In The Politics of Carbon Markets, edited by Richard Lane and Benjamin Stephan, 237–60. London, UK: Routledge/Earthscan, 2014.
  • "The Contradictory Logic of Global Ecosystem-Services Markets." Development and Change 43, no. 1 (2012): 105–31
  • "Nature in the Market-World: Ecosystem Services and Inequality." Development 55, no. 1 (2012): 25–33.
  • "Payments for Ecosystem Services in Mexico: Nature, Neoliberalism, Social Movements and the State." Annals of the Association of American Geographers 100, no. 3 (2010): 579–59. (co-authored with E. Shapiro)
  • "Neoliberalism on the Molecular Scale: Economic and Genetic Reductionism in Biotechnology Battles." Geoforum 34, no. 2 (2003 ): 203–19.
  • "Selling Nature To Save It? Biodiversity and Green Developmentalism." Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 17, no. 2 (1999): 133–54.