Tripti Joshi (Editor)

Karen Alter

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Nationality  American
Alma mater  Cornell University
Role  Author

Name  Karen Alter
Karen Alter wwwamericanacademydewpcontentuploads201612

Born  October 23, 1965 (age 50) (1965-10-23) Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Notable work  Establishing the Supremacy of European Law (2001), The European Court’s Political Power (2010), The New Terrain of International Law: Courts, Politics, Rights (2014), The Oxford Handbook on International Adjudication (2014); Law and Politics of the Andean Tribunal of Justice (2015)
Institutions  Northwestern University
Books  The European Court’s Political Power
Awards  Guggenheim Fellowship for Social Sciences, US & Canada
Influenced by  Peter J. Katzenstein, Suzanne Berger

Institution  Northwestern University

Similar  Barbara F Walter, Susan Eaton, Amrita Basu

Professor karen alter

Karen J. Alter is an American academic, well known for her interdisciplinary work on international law’s influence in international and domestic politics. Alter is a leading authority on comparative international courts and the politics of international regime complexity. Her early work focused on the European Court of Justice, a topic on which she published two books and many articles. Karen Alter is a Guggenheim Fellow, and the winner of a Berlin Prize from the American Academy in Berlin. Alter has a courtesy appointment at Northwestern Law School. Fluent in French, Italian and German, Alter has conducted research throughout Europe, Africa and Latin America.


Alter is well known for integrating the study of international relations and law. Although she never pursued a JD, Alter spent a year as an Emile Noel Fellow at Harvard Law School, and she has been a visiting scholar at Northwestern Law School and the American Bar Foundation. Alter is a permanent visiting professor at the University of Copenhagen Faculty of Law, where she participates in the iCourts Center of Excellence, and she is a frequent co-author with Laurence Helfer of Duke Law School. Alter is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and serves on the advisory board of PluriCourts, and the editorial board of the journal International Organization and Law and Contemporary Problems.

Early life

Karen Alter grew up in Los Angeles, where she attended Pacific Palisades High School (Class of 1983). She attended Cornell University, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude, with distinction in all subjects, and worked with Peter J. Katzenstein. Alter received her doctorate in political science at MIT (1996), where she worked with Suzanne Berger and Anne-Marie Slaughter.


Karen Alter began her career at Smith College (1996–2000), after which she moved to Northwestern University. She teaches courses at the graduate and undergraduate level, and on occasion at Northwestern Law School. Alter has been a visiting faculty member at University of Copenhagen Faculty of Law, American Academy, Northwestern Law School, Institute d’Etudes Politiques (Sciences Po), American Bar Foundation, Universität Bremen, Germany, Seikei University, Harvard Law School, and the European Union Center, Harvard University.

Alter is also a frequent commentator on international relations. Her commentary has appeared in the Boston Globe , CNN , U.S. News & World Report , the Chicago Tribune, and the Huffington Post .


  • 2013: Northwestern University Public Voices Fellowship - the Op-Ed Project.
  • 2012: Bosch Public Policy Fellow, American Academy in Berlin.
  • 2011: John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, awarded in the field of law.
  • 2004: Howard Foundation Fellowship.
  • 2000–2001: Emile Noel Fellowship, Harvard Law School.
  • 2000–2001: German Marshall Fund of the United States, Advanced Research Fellowship.
  • 1996: Program for the Study of Germany and Europe Center for European Studies, Harvard University.
  • 1994: Bourse Chateaubriand Scientifique.
  • 1993 Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst Stipendium.
  • 1992: European Community Studies Association Dissertation Fellowship.
  • 1992: MacArthur Foundation Summer Research Exploration Grant.
  • 1988: Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Team Research Grant.
  • 1987: Ford Foundation, Undergraduate Honors Thesis Research Grant.
  • References

    Karen Alter Wikipedia