Catherine Wong

Dr. Catherine Wong

Fellow (Alumni)

On Social Media

Catherine Wong is a sociologist at the University of Luxembourg and Research Fellow at the IASS. She specialises in risk governance in the policy sectors of energy, climate change, and global urbanisation. Her research examines the recursive relationships among energy technologies, global environmental politics, international finance and public policy. These issues are framed within the discourse of social and political risk and uncertainties; and what this means for mobilising socioecological change, transitions to a low-carbon economy, and responsible innovation. Her book, "Energy, Risk and Governance", published by Palgrave and Macmillan in 2018 addressed the difficulties of striking a balance between energy security and sustainable development at the policy level. By unpacking the underpinning logics of risk among the nuclear policy and industry elites in India, she provided a more nuanced explanation for why nuclear energy is still considered by some as a rational choice in spite of its risks.

Catherine received her PhD in Sociology from the Australian National University (ANU) and her Masters in Global Studies from the University of Freiburg, Germany. She did her first post-doc at The Cairns Institute, James Cook University on climate governance in Australia, China and the UK. She is now based at the University of Luxembourg, working on global cities and systemic risk with a focus on international financial centres. Prior to pursuing her academic interests, Catherine worked as a business planning analyst at Hewlett Packard in Ireland, project manager at the Global Development Network in India, and reporter at the The Straits Times and The Business Times in Singapore.

  • 2016 - present: Post-doctoral Research Associate, University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg
  • 2014 - 2016: Senior Research Officer, James Cook University, Australia
  • 2011 - 2014: Associate Lecture and PhD Candidate, Australian National University, Australia
  • 2009 - 2011: Research Associate, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore
  • 2007 - 2009: Journalist, The Straits Times & The Business Times, Singapore
  • 2007 - 2008: Project Coordinator, Global Development Network, India
  • 2006 - 2006: Business Planning Analyst, Hewlett-Packard Inc., Ireland
  • Systemic risk
  • Risk Governance
  • Uncertainty
  • Energy policy
  • Nuclear energy
  • Climate policy
  • Green finance
  • Global cities

Publications prior to joining the IASS


*Wong, C.M.L (2018) Energy, Risk and Governance: The Case of Nuclear Energy in India. London: Palgrave Macmillan Publishers, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-63363-3

Journal Articles

*Wong, C. M. L and Lockie, S. (2018) "Sociology, risk and the environment: a material-semiotic approach", Journal of Risk Research, 21(9), pp1077-1092.

*Wong, C. M. L (2018) "Review of Fact and Fiction in Global Energy Policy: 15 Contentious Questions.", Edited by B. K. Sovacool, M. A. Brown, and S. V. Valentine, Risk Analysis, 38(4), pp866-868.

*Jetzkowitz, J., Koppen, V-K., Lidskog, R., Lieske, V-K, Wong, C. M. L., (2017) "The significance of meaning. Why IPBES needs the social sciences and humanities", Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research, 31(1), pp38-60.

*Wong, C. M. L (2016) "Assembling Interdisciplinary Energy Research through an Actor Network Theory (ANT) Frame", Energy Research and Social Science, Vol. 12 (February 2016), pp106-110.

*Wong, C. M. L (2015) "The Mutable Nature of Risk and Acceptability: A Hybrid Risk Governance Framework", Risk Analysis, 33 (11), pp.1969-1982.

*Wong, C. M. L (2015) "Organisational Risk Perception and Transformations in India's Nuclear Establishment", Journal of Risk Research, 8(8), pp1012-1029.

*Wong, C. M. L (2012) "The Developmental State in Ecological Modernisation and the Politics of Environmental Framings: The Case of Singapore and Implications for East Asia" Nature and Culture, 7(1), pp95-119.

*Goodsite, M., Wong C. M. L, Hertel, O., Moseholm, L. (2010) "Responses to Air Pollution Based on Historical and Current Policies in the EU and ASEAN", Global Environment, 3(6), pp150-183.

Book Chapters

*Lockie, S., and Wong, C. M. L. (2018) "Conflicting temporalities of social and environmental change". In M. Boström and D. Davidson (Eds.), Environment and Society: Concepts and Challenges. (pp. 327-350). London: Palgrave and Macmillan.

*Lockie, S. and Wong, C.M.L (2017) "Risk, Sustainability and Time: Sociological Perspectives" in Schandl, H. and Walker, I. (2017) Sustainability: Social Science Contributions. (pp. 187-198) Canberra: CSIRO Publishing

*Wong, C. M. L (2017) "The Clash of Risk Perceptions: Reconciling 'the publics' and 'the experts'" in Janardhanan, N., Pant, G. and Grover, R. (Eds) Resurgence of Nuclear Power: Challenges and Opportunities for Asia. (pp. 105-124) Singapore: Springer

*Wong, C. M. L (2010) "Facing the Storm Through the Market", in Montesano, M. J. and Lee, P.O. (Eds), Regional Outlook 2010-2011. (pp. 72-28) Singapore: ISEAS Publishing, ISBN: 978-981-4279-53-6

Technical Reports

*Stoddart, M., Wong, C. M. L, Schweizer, V., McLevy, J. (2018) "Climate Change and Energy Futures: Final Report", Memorial University, Newfoundland, Canada

*Wong, C. M. L (2006), "A Comparative Study of Key Socio-Economic Indicators in China and India", Ireland: Hewlett-Packard Dublin Inkjet Manufacturing Operation (DIMO), Dublin: HP Internal Publications.

Selected Lectures

"Risk governance in nuclear energy: public policy implications in the case of India" | University of Cambridge | GENUS Research Group discussion session | U.K. | 2019

"Socio-ecological Risk in Nuclear Energy Production: Perspectives from Sociology" | Memorial University of Newfoundland | Sociology Departmental Lecture Series | Canada | 2018

"Risk Analysis and the Role of Social Sciences: Unpacking the Division of Labour" | Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies | Risk Governance Symposium | Germany | 2017

"Risk Governance and the Crisis of Expertise" | Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) Symposium on Systemic Risk | Washington D.C., U.S.A. | 2017

"Developing Technological Risk Consciousness Among State and Industry Elites in Climate Policy" | Lorentz Centre @Leiden University | Expert Workshop | The Netherlands | 2017

  • Society for Risk Analysis - Benelux, Board Member
  • International Sociological Association (ISA), RC24, Environment and Society, Board Member
  • Palgrave Studies in Environment, Society and Policy | Co-series Editor | Palgrave and Macmillan
  • Environmental Sociology (International Journal) | Associate Editor | Taylor and Francis
  • Energy Research and Social Sciences (International Journal) | Editorial Board member | Elsevier