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Dr. M.L. (Catherine) Wong

Faculteit der Maatschappij- en Gedragswetenschappen
Programmagroep: Cultural Sociology

  • Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
  • Kamernummer: 6.05
  • Postbus 15508
    1001 NA Amsterdam
  • Profile

    I am an assistant professor at the Department of Sociology and part of the Cultural Sociology Programme Group. My research focuses on the intersection between social and environmental sustainability with a focus on how underpinning knowledge settings are constructed and deployed in decision making processes, risk assessments and environmental governance. I specialise in the topical areas of nuclear energy, climate policy and green finance where most of my research explores how knowledge brokers, institutions, technologies and environments interact and account for conflicts in risk perceptions, management and communication. I am also interested in how these interactions influence decisions, from individual energy choices or investment decisions, to climate policy, environmental regulation and resource allocation.

    I use a mix of qualitative methods such as fieldwork and organisational ethnography and field experiments. I have conducted research in India, China, Australia, Singapore, the UK and Luxembourg. 

    In 2019, I received the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) Directorate Fellowship in Potsdam (Germany) to expand my work on green finance, and in 2021, I was awarded a Research Scholarship at the University of Cambridge, Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER).

    I received my PhD in Sociology from the Australian National University (ANU) and a Masters in Global Studies from the University of Freiburg in Germany. I have held research positions at James Cook University (Australia), the University of Luxembourg (Luxembourg), and the National University of Singapore (Singapore). I also spent time in the private sector as a business planning analyst at Hewlett Packard in Ireland, programme coordinator at the Global Development Network in India, and a journalist for The Business Times and The Straits Times in Singapore.

  • Publications


    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 & Wu Y.Y. (2023) “Limits to inoculating against the risk of fake news: a replication study in Singapore during COVID-19”, Journal of Risk Research, DOI: 10.1080/13669877.2023.2249909

    Wong, C. M. L. (2021) “Temporality and systemic risk: the case of green bonds”, Journal of Risk Research, 45(1): pp110-120

    Wong, C., Hesse, M., & Sigler, T. J. (2021). “City-states in relational urbanization: the case of Luxembourg and Singapore.” Urban Geography, pp1-22. doi:10.1080/02723638.2021.1878331

    Mark C. J. S., McLevey, J., Schweizer, V. and Wong, C. M. L. (2020) “Climate change and energy futures - theoretical frameworks, epistemological issues, and methodological perspectives”, Society & Natural Resources, 33(11): pp1331-1338

    Wong, C. M. L. and Lockie, S. (2020) “Climate policy and industry elite perceptions of risk and uncertainty: a cross-national study”, Society & Natural Resources, 33(11), pp1399-1418

    Wong, C. M. L. and Jensen, O. (2020) “The paradox of trust: perceived risk and public compliance during the COVID-19 pandemic in Singapore”, Journal of Risk Research, 23(7-8): pp1021-1030

    Hesse, M. and Wong, C. M. L. (2019) “A relational lens on cities. Niche-economic strategies and related urban development trajectories in Geneva (Switzerland), Luxembourg (Luxembourg) and Singapore”, Geographischen Zeitschrift, 108(2020/2), pp74-98

    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 (2015a) “The mutable nature of risk and acceptability: a hybrid risk governance framework”, Risk Analysis, 33 (11), pp.1969-1982.

    Wong, C. M. L (2015b) “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

    Wong, C. M. L. (2021) “Inoculation Against Fake News? An experiment using a fake news game in the context of COVID-19. Preliminary Key Findings Report”, National University of Singapore, Singapore [Download report here]

    Wong, C. M. L., Hesse, M. (2019) “Small but Global Cities: A Comparative Analysis of Luxembourg & Singapore: Stakeholder Report”, University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg [Download report here.]

    Stoddart, M., Wong, C. M. L, Schweizer, V., McLevy, J. (2018) “Climate Change and Energy Futures: Final Report”, Memorial University, Newfoundland, Canada [Download report here]

    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.

    Opinion Editorials & Commentaries (Selected)

    Koh. C.G., Lee, L., Lo, C., Wong, C.M.L, Yap, J. (2020) “A socio-psychological perspective” in World Economic Forum Insight Report, Challenges and Opportunities in the Post-COVID-19 World (pp 44-48). Geneva: World Economic Forum

    Wong, C. M. L., Koh, C. G and Lee, L. (2020) “Outbreaks of diseases make us exaggerate or under-estimate risks. The COVID-19 shows that”, Channel News Asia, 20 Feb

    Wong, C. M. L. (2015) “Energy security in Southeast Asia? Let’s start with the future”, The Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia, No.18, http://kyotoreview.org/yav/energy-security-southeast-asia-the-future/

    Wong, C. M. L. (2014) “The Australia-India nuclear deal – a qualitative risk analysis perspective”, Australian Resources and Investment, 8(4), pp155-156 (By invitation)

    Wong, C. M. L. (2014) “Australian uranium deal could make Indian nuclear power safer”, The Conversation, 5 Sept

    Wong, C. M. L (2012) “India's nuclear programme: Trust abroad but not at home”, Al Jazeera, 3 Nov

    Wong, C. M. L. (2010) “When green is the colour of exclusion”, The Straits Times, 6 Jul

    Wong, C. M. L (2010) “Fit human life and capitalism to nature”, The Straits Times, 25 Feb

    Wong, C. M. L (2009) “Clean-growth opportunities for Southeast Asia”, The Business Times, 17 Nov

  • Teaching

    I teach the following courses:

    • Sustainable Cities (MSSS Sociology)
    • Environment and Society
    • Master Thesis Sociology
  • Publicaties


    • Wong, C. M. L., & Wu, Y. (2023). Limits to inoculating against the risk of fake news: a replication study in Singapore during COVID-19. Journal of Risk Research, 26(10), 1037-1052. https://doi.org/10.1080/13669877.2023.2249909



    • Hesse, M., & Wong, C. M. L. (2020). Niche economic strategies and related urban development trajectories in Geneva (Switzerland), Luxembourg (Luxembourg) and Singapore. Geographische Zeitschrift, 108(2), 74-98. https://doi.org/10.25162/gz-2019-0020
    • Stoddart, M. C. J., McLevey, J., Schweizer, V., & Wong, C. (2020). Climate Change and Energy Futures - Theoretical Frameworks, Epistemological Issues, and Methodological Perspectives. Society and Natural Resources, 33(11), 1331-1338. https://doi.org/10.1080/08941920.2020.1830456
    • Wong, C. M. L. (2020). Temporality and systemic risk: the case of green bonds. Journal of Risk Research, 24(1), 110-120. https://doi.org/10.1080/13669877.2020.1843067
    • Wong, C. M. L., & Jensen, O. (2020). The paradox of trust: perceived risk and public compliance during the COVID-19 pandemic in Singapore. Journal of Risk Research, 23(7-8), 1021-1030. https://doi.org/10.1080/13669877.2020.1756386
    • Wong, C. M. L., & Lockie, S. (2020). Climate Policy and Industry Elite Perceptions of Risk and Uncertainty: A Cross-National Study. Society and Natural Resources, 33(11), 1399-1418. https://doi.org/10.1080/08941920.2020.1797966


    • Jetzkowitz, J., van Koppen, C. S. A., Lidskog, R., Ott, K., Voget-Kleschin, L., & Wong, C. M. L. (2018). The significance of meaning. Why IPBES needs the social sciences and humanities. Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research, 31, S38-S60. https://doi.org/10.1080/13511610.2017.1348933
    • Wong, C. M. L., & Lockie, S. (2018). Sociology, risk and the environment: A material-semiotic approach. Journal of Risk Research, 21(9), 1077-1092. https://doi.org/10.1080/13669877.2017.1422783


    • Wong, C. M. L. (2017). Energy, risk and governance: The case of nuclear energy in India. Springer International Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-63363-3
    • Wong, C. M. L. (2017). The clash of risk perceptions: Reconciling "the publics" and "the experts". In Resurgence of Nuclear Power: Challenges and Opportunities for Asia (pp. 105-124). Springer Science+Business Media Singapore Private Limited. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-5029-9_6




    • Wong, C. M. L. (2012). The developmental state in ecological modernization and the politics of environmental framings: The case of Singapore and implications for East Asia. Nature and Culture, 7(1), 95-119. https://doi.org/10.3167/nc.2012.070106


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