References of "Wong, Catherine 50022153"
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See detailConflicting temporalities of social and environmental change
Lockie, Stewart; Wong, Catherine UL

in Boström, M.; Davidson, D. (Eds.) Environment and Society: Concepts and Challenges. (2018)

This chapter explores how time and temporality – that is, the rhythms and tempos of social and environmental change – have been considered in social theory before going on to explore the conceptual ... [more ▼]

This chapter explores how time and temporality – that is, the rhythms and tempos of social and environmental change – have been considered in social theory before going on to explore the conceptual frameworks and practices through which policy-makers seek to influence temporal processes in the specific context of climate change policy. The chapter highlights conflict between the temporalities of climate change and the temporalities of politics, as well as conflict between the temporalities of competing political and decision-making processes. While policy-makers advocate strategies to depoliticize climate policy in response to these conflicts, the chapter argues this is neither possible nor desirable. Instead, it advocates more democratic and deliberative approaches to the challenge of synchronizing ever more visible ecological temporalities with the multiple temporalities of the social. [less ▲]

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See detailEnergy, Risk and Governance: The Case of Nuclear Energy in India
Wong, Catherine UL

Book published by Palgrave Macmillan (2018)

This book is about how risk, energy and governance are intertwined in the development of the nuclear industry in India and its relationship with the Indian public. It provides a rare insider-view of how ... [more ▼]

This book is about how risk, energy and governance are intertwined in the development of the nuclear industry in India and its relationship with the Indian public. It provides a rare insider-view of how the nuclear establishment thinks about risk and contrasts that with public understandings of nuclear risk. Through that, the book presents a more nuanced picture of why nuclear energy is considered a rational choice in spite of the risks; the ambiguities in both expert and public risk perceptions; and the internal reflexivities that have emerged within the nuclear establishment as a result of the Fukushima-Daiichi disaster which are not displayed in the public discourse. The insights in this book are not unique to India and similar observations can easily be made in the global nuclear industry. Reflecting on what this means for risk governance in practice, the book proposes a toolkit that practitioners in the nuclear industry can use in public engagement, risk communication and deliberation at various stages of decision-making. [less ▲]

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See detailReview of Fact and Fiction in Global Energy Policy: 15 Contentious Questions
Wong, Catherine UL

in Risk Analysis : An Official Publication of the Society for Risk Analysis (2018), In Press

In a so-called “Post-truth” era, the role of facts in society has become ever more ambiguous and contentious. Increasingly, facts are simultaneously used as a tool for risk assessment and risk management ... [more ▼]

In a so-called “Post-truth” era, the role of facts in society has become ever more ambiguous and contentious. Increasingly, facts are simultaneously used as a tool for risk assessment and risk management on the one hand, and an instrument of politicking and social polarisation on the other. That facts are subjective artefacts is not new. Pioneering sociologists like Emile Durkheim (Durkheim, 1996), Michel Foucault (Foucault, 2008, Burchell et al., 1991), and the Frankfurt School (Nicholas, 2012) (to name a few), have ruminated over the subjectivities of knowledge more than a century ago. But the difference in our current modern, hyper-globalised world is that the subjective nature of facts are increasingly both the best tool we have to deal with global risk, and a prime source of global risk at the same time. The question this raises, is how to deal with this paradox in policy? And is cooperation possible without consensus on whose facts are more true? [less ▲]

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See detailSociology, Risk and the Environment: A Material-Semiotic Approach
Wong, Catherine UL; Lockie, Stewart

in Journal of Risk Research (2018)

Sociology has made significant contributions to the conceptualisation of risk and critique of technical risk analysis. It has, however, unintentionally reinforced the division of labour between the ... [more ▼]

Sociology has made significant contributions to the conceptualisation of risk and critique of technical risk analysis. It has, however, unintentionally reinforced the division of labour between the natural/technical and social sciences in risk analysis. This paper argues that the problem with conceptualisations of risk is not a misplaced emphasis on calculation. Rather, it is that we have not adequately dealt with ontological distinctions implicit in both sociological and technical work on risk between material or objective risks and our socially-mediated understandings and interpretations of those risks. While acknowledging that risks are simultaneously social and technical, sociologists have not, in practice, provided the conceptual and methodological tools to apprehend risk in a less dualistic manner. This limits our ability both to analyse actors and processes outside the social domain and to explore the recursive relationships between risk calculus, social action and the material outcomes of risk. In response, this paper develops a material-semiotic conceptualisation of risk and provides an assessment of its relevance to more sociologically-informed risk governance. It introduces the ideas of co-constitution, emergent entities and enactment as instruments for reconciling the material and social worlds in a sociological study of risk. It further illustrates the application of a material-semiotic approach using these concepts in the nuclear industry. In deconstructing social-material dualisms in the sociology of risk, this paper argues that a material-semiotic conceptualisation of risk enables both technical and social perspectives on risk not only to co-exist but to collaborate, widening the scope for interdisciplinary research. [less ▲]

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See detailThe significance of meaning in and the meaning of biodiversity research: Why IPBES needs the social sciences and humanities
Jetzkowitz, Jens; Wong, Catherine UL; Lidskog, Rolf et al

in Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research (2017)

The term “biodiversity” is often used to describe phenomena of nature, which can be studied without a reference to the socially constructed, evaluative, or indeed normative contexts. In our paper, we ... [more ▼]

The term “biodiversity” is often used to describe phenomena of nature, which can be studied without a reference to the socially constructed, evaluative, or indeed normative contexts. In our paper, we challenge this conception by focusing particularly on methodological aspects of biodiversity research. We thereby engage with the idea of interdisciplinary biodiversity research as a scientific approach directed at the recognition and management of contemporary society in its ecological embedding. By doing this, we explore how research on and assessments of biodiversity can be enhanced if meaning, aspiration, desires, and related aspects of agency are methodically taken into account. In six sections, we substantiate our claim that the discourse on biodiversity (including the IPBES (Intergovernmental science-policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) debate) is incomplete without contributions from the social sciences and humanities. In the introduction, a brief overview of biodiversity’s conceptual history is provided showing that “biodiversity” is a lexical invention intended to create a strong political momentum. However, that does not impede its usability as a research concept. Section 2 examines the origins of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) by way of sociological discourse analysis. Subsequently, it proposes a matrix as a means to structure the ambiguities and tensions inherent in the CBD. The matrix reemphasizes our main thesis regarding the need to bring social and ethical expertise to the biodiversity discourse. In Section 3, we offer a brief sketch of the different methods of the natural and social sciences as well as ethics. This lays the groundwork for our Section 4, which explains and illustrates what social sciences and ethics can contribute to biodiversity research. Section 5 turns from research to politics and argues that biodiversity governance necessitates deliberative discourses in which participation of lay people plays an important role. Section 6 provides our conclusions. [less ▲]

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See detailRisk, sustainability and time: sociological perspectives
Wong, Catherine UL; Lockie, Stewart

in Schandl, Heinz; Walker, Iain (Eds.) Social Sciences and Sustainability (2017)

Detailed reference viewed: 79 (6 UL)
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See detailThe Clash of Risk Perceptions: Reconciling ‘the publics’ and ‘the experts’
Wong, Catherine UL

in Janardhanan, Nandakumar (Ed.) Resurgence of Nuclear Power: Challenges and Opportunities for Asia (2017)

The polarisation of risk perceptions between “experts” and “the publics” has been a major challenge in the development and operation of nuclear power plants across the world. For this reason, much ... [more ▼]

The polarisation of risk perceptions between “experts” and “the publics” has been a major challenge in the development and operation of nuclear power plants across the world. For this reason, much research has been dedicated to better understand public risk perceptions. Yet, nuclear developments in India and many countries in developing Asia continue to be mired in conflicts with the public with vastly different sets of concerns, priorities, and interests that seem irreconcilable with those of the nuclear industry. This calls for a different perspective, and perhaps a broader approach, to understanding the apparent clash of risk perceptions between “experts” and “the publics”. Presenting original data collected from interviews with the nuclear establishment and civil society stakeholders in India, this chapter focuses on the points of convergences and divergences between the two groups. The goal here is not simply to present ‘the other side of the story’ and thus to emphasise polarisations between the two groups. It instead seeks to explore the full range of alternative perceptions evident through the interviews and thence to unpack and challenge practices through which nuclear risk comes to be seen as a straightforward clash of disparate risk perceptions. With this approach, the voices of moderation on both sides start to emerge, illuminating important conversations that can help depolarise the nuclear debate. [less ▲]

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See detailAssembling Interdisciplinary Energy Research through an Actor Network Theory (ANT) Frame
Wong, Catherine UL

in Energy Research and Social Science (2016), 12(2016), 106-110

Much has been achieved over the last decade to highlight the need for energy research to look beyond the technical dimensions of energy systems to include the social elements of energy consumption and ... [more ▼]

Much has been achieved over the last decade to highlight the need for energy research to look beyond the technical dimensions of energy systems to include the social elements of energy consumption and production. Inter-disciplinary research in this area has thus been growing. The degree of penetration by the social sciences into technical energy analysis, however, has largely been weak not just within academic research but also in policy and decision-making. This paper introduces Actor-Network Theory (ANT) as a frame and mode of thinking about inter-disciplinary energy research in practice. In presenting a short history of its classical status, evolution and more contemporary applications, this paper highlights the concepts of social-material heterogeneity, enrolment, enactment and translation and some applications to energy research. It argues that an ANT approach: (1) expands the purview of analysis to the larger web of people and things that co-constitute energy systems; (2) gives visibility to previously inconspicuous actors and processes; (3) actively engages with ignorance and uncertainty in scientific experimentation; and (4) identifies alternative ways of assembling technologies, people and environments that are fairer and more sustainable. [less ▲]

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See detailEnergy Security in Southeast Asia? Let’s start with the Future
Wong, Catherine UL

in Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia (2015), (18),

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See detailOrganisational risk perception and transformations in India’s nuclear establishment
Wong, Catherine UL

in Journal of Risk Research (2015), 18(8), 1012-1029

The discourse on nuclear power and risk has shifted over the last few decades from security concerns emanating from nuclear weapons to threats to public safety in the event of industrial nuclear accidents ... [more ▼]

The discourse on nuclear power and risk has shifted over the last few decades from security concerns emanating from nuclear weapons to threats to public safety in the event of industrial nuclear accidents. While the main focus of exist- ing scholarship has been on public risk perceptions, comparatively little is known about organisational risk perceptions and the factors that influence organ- isations’ willingness to accept the incalculable risks of nuclear power. This paper provides insights into how the nuclear establishment in India thinks about risk. Drawing on interviews with the senior management of nuclear organisations, the analysis shows that organisational risk perception is not merely a human con- struct or the outcome of simple technical cost-benefit rationalities. It is the result of interactions between material and ideational conditions of risk. These condi- tions are expressed through three core organisational narratives: (1) the growth imperative, (2) technological nationalism and (3) faith in systems and technol- ogy. While there is generally a strong consensus on these narratives within and among the nuclear organisations in India, the data also show that organisations are not homogenous entities. Instances of self-critique and reflexivity exist which could open new spaces for change towards a more inclusive organisational dis- course on nuclear risk in India. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Mutable Nature of Risk and Acceptability: A Hybrid Risk Governance Framework
Wong, Catherine UL

in Risk Analysis : An Official Publication of the Society for Risk Analysis (2015), 31(11), 1969-1982

This article focuses on the fluid nature of risk problems and the challenges it presents to establishing acceptability in risk governance. It introduces an actor-network theory (ANT) perspective as a way ... [more ▼]

This article focuses on the fluid nature of risk problems and the challenges it presents to establishing acceptability in risk governance. It introduces an actor-network theory (ANT) perspective as a way to deal with the mutable nature of risk controversies and the configu- ration of stakeholders. To translate this into a practicable framework, the article proposes a hybrid risk governance framework that combines ANT with integrative risk governance, deliberative democracy, and responsive regulation. This addresses a number of the limita- tions in existing risk governance models, including: (1) the lack of more substantive public participation throughout the lifecycle of a project; (2) hijacking of deliberative forums by particular groups; and (3) the treatment of risk problems and their associated stakeholders as immutable entities. The framework constitutes a five-stage process of co-selection, co- design, co-planning, and co-regulation to facilitate the co-production of collective interests and knowledge, build capacities, and strengthen accountability in the process. The aims of this article are twofold: conceptually, it introduces a framework of risk governance that ac- counts for the mutable nature of risk problems and configuration of stakeholders. In practice, this article offers risk managers and practitioners of risk governance a set of procedures with which to operationalize this conceptual approach to risk and stakeholder engagement. [less ▲]

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See detailAustralian uranium deal could make Indian nuclear power safer
Wong, Catherine UL

Article for general public (2014)

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See detailThe Australia-India Nuclear Deal – A Qualitative Risk Analysis Perspective
Wong, Catherine UL

Article for general public (2014)

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See detailIndia's nuclear programme: Trust abroad but not at home
Wong, Catherine UL

Article for general public (2012)

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See detailThe developmental state in ecological modernization and the politics of environmental framings: the case of Singapore and implications for East Asia
Wong, Catherine UL

in Nature and Culture (2012), 7(1), 95-119

In East Asia, climate change as a policy concern has been a late developer. The last decade, however, has seen the mainstreaming of environmental is- sues in core policy circles, but in the form of market ... [more ▼]

In East Asia, climate change as a policy concern has been a late developer. The last decade, however, has seen the mainstreaming of environmental is- sues in core policy circles, but in the form of market-friendly, pro-industrial development framings. This paper problematizes such environmental fram- ings by looking at the politics of state-led ecological modernization and the institutional reforms that have emerged out of it. It argues that State-led ecological modernization necessarily leads to environmental framings that are too narrowly defined by state and industrial interests – hence the focus on carbon emissions, energy security and the impact on Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The State-driven assumption that society can modernize itself out of its environmental crisis through greater advancements in technological development also ignores the fact that this process often leads to the creation of other environmental and social problems, which in turn undermines the fundamental goals of stability and sustainability. Civil society needs to be given greater space in the policy and framing processes in order to have a more balanced policy approach to environmental reform in a more equitable way. [less ▲]

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See detailFit human life and capitalism to Nature
Wong, Catherine UL

Article for general public (2010)

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See detailFacing the Storm Through the Market
Wong, Catherine UL

in Montesano, Michael J.; Lee, Poh Onn (Eds.) Regional Outlook 2010-2011 (2010)

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See detailResponses to Air Pollution Based on Historical and Current Policies in the EU and ASEAN
Wong, Catherine UL; Goodsite, M.; Hertel, O. et al

in Global Environment (2010), 3(6), 150-183

This review paper focuses on an important new question: how can climate change affect maritime and other cities of Southeast Asia, and what challenges and possible responses can be identified based on ... [more ▼]

This review paper focuses on an important new question: how can climate change affect maritime and other cities of Southeast Asia, and what challenges and possible responses can be identified based on historical and current regional policies and action, especially with regard to air pollution? This review was undertaken as part of the ISDP and ISEAS sponsored initiative: Regional Cooperation in Environmental Protection: Lessons from Two Regions (EU and ASEAN). We examined the cases of the EU and ASEAN policies for the protection of air quality from a scientific practitioner’s point of view. We seek to ascertain if ASEAN can respond to regional human-induced environmental problems given existing problems of national sovereignty and the interest-based character of ASEAN-type associations, since ASEAN’s goal, in contrast to that of the EU, has been regional cooperation rather than regional integration. Both regions are responding differently to climate change and the global economic and environmental realities resulting from, or arising in reaction to, their policies (or lack thereof ). While the EU and ASEAN can and should learn from one another and their relations have been the subject of studies (see for example), there are still challenges to be addressed to effectively drive improvement of critical regional (air) pollution issues that may ultimately impact health and productivity. Each regional organization has in its own manner made exemplary efforts towards resolving environmental degradation within its own region and taken efforts to make a positive international impact, but there is still the need for international treaties and more local efforts to empower the regional visions. Our aim is to highlight the status of the respective policy frameworks and exemplify areas in which we can learn from one another in the field of air pollution, given its global relevance for climate change. We conclude by suggesting a strategic summary framework for future action. This paper is not meant to be a history of either EU or ASEAN policy; for this, the reader is referred instead to appropriate literature, most notably the EU Environmental Policy Handbook, especially the air quality chapter (3) with excellent background information on European Atmospheric Environment Policy. [less ▲]

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See detailClean-Growth Opportunities for Southeast Asia
Wong, Catherine UL

Article for general public (2009)

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