Dr Rens van der Vegt

M.Sc (Social & Cultural Anthropology), B.B.A.

Completed PhD

Born and raised in The Netherlands, Rens has a Master in Social & Cultural Anthropology from Utrecht University and a Bachelor in International Tourism Management & Consultancy from the NHTV University of Applied Sciences in Breda. Prior to starting his PhD he was working as an event coordinator for two years.

Currently Rens is a PhD candidate at Charles Darwin University funded by the Collaborative Research Network.

His research will explore how risk governance can be improved through public engagement by using a case study of the Australia Pacific LNG Project in Gladstone Harbour.

This involves:

  • investigating how risk governance is theorized and used emprically in relation to public engagement on the subject of complex social and environmental issues
  • identifying the risk perspections and values of a variety of stakeholders concerning the APLNG Project
  • identifying whether these risk perceptions and values were taken into account in the risk governance process and how the stakeholders have perceived this
  • analysing what processes of public engagement enabled or disabled inclusion of these risk perceptions and values in order to give recommendations on how risk governance can possibly be improved. 

Methodologically, this is framed within the research paradigm of Critical Theory. Semi-structured interviews and focus groups with key stakeholders will be used as the methods in order to explore the variety of opinions and generate an analytic-deliberative debate to search for solutions.

PhD Project Title

Risk Society – Reflexive governance in developing Northern Australia 

Research Interests

  • Risk governance
  • Social and environmental impacts of economic growth
  • Emerging technologies and security
  • Techno-economic policy
  • Critical Theory


Associate Professor Pascal Tremblay, Principal (Northern Institute)
Dr Elspeth Oppermann (Northern Institute)
Dr Jackie Gould (Northern Institute)
Professor Allan Dale (James Cook University)
Professor Karen Hussey (The University of Queensland)

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Publications & Resources

Journal Articles

van der Vegt, R.G. (2018). Risk management and risk governance of liquefied natural gas development in Gladstone, Australia. The Extractive Industries and Society. DOI 10.1016/j.exis.2018.07.001

van der Vegt, R.G. (2018). Risk Assessment and Risk Governance of Liquefied Natural Gas Development in Gladstone, Australia. DOI 10.1111/risa.12977

van der Vegt, R.G. (2017). A literature review on the relationship between risk governance and public engagement in relation to complex environmental issues. Journal of Risk Research. doi.org/10.1080/13669877.2017.1351466

Conference Proceedings & Papers

van der Vegt, R.G. (2015). Exploring risk governance and public engagement through a case study of the Australia Pacific LNG Project in Gladstone Harbour. The Australian Sociological Association Annual Conference, 23-26 November 2015, Cairns, Australia.

Rens van der Vegt


T: +61 8 8946 6853
E: rens.vandervegt@cdu.edu.au

Darwin, NT