Christiaan De Beukelaer

Senior Lecturer in Culture & Climate, University of Melbourne

About Christiaan De Beukelaer

Christiaan De Beukelaer took up sailing to get away from his desk on weekends. This worked out well, until he developed an interest in how to decarbonise the shipping industry.

Trained as a Musicologist at the University of Amsterdam, Christiaan further studied both Cultural Studies and Development Studies at the University of Leuven. He subsequently lived in Burkina Faso and Ghana to study how governments and international organisations mobilised music industries as a driver of “development,” as part of his doctoral studies at the University of Leeds. This award-winning research took him to some of the best (and some of the worst) gigs he’s ever been to. 

Throughout his career as an anthropologist of policy, Christiaan has tried to understand how power and ideology influence governance and regulation. After working on cultural policy for a decade, he changed tack to help address the climate crisis and rethink the future of maritime transport by focusing on climate policy instead. The constant throughout his research is an attempt to understand how the United Nations can be simultaneously dysfunctional and vital to a flourishing environment and human dignity in the face of an existential planetary climate crisis. 

Christiaan grew up in Ghent, where he spent much of his teens living on a barge on the river Scheldt. He works at the University of Melbourne and has held visiting positions at the Institute of Advanced Study at Durham and at the universities of Copenhagen, Jyväskylä, Cape Town, Hildesheim, and Coimbra. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

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